Venue Apologizes After Refusing Interracial Wedding Due To ‘Christian Beliefs’

The owner of an events venue has faced severe backlash following the release of a video in which a representative of the venue told a customer that they would not be able to host their marriage due to the fact that they "don’t do gay weddings or mixed race".

The place in question is called the Boone’s Camp Event Hall.

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LaKambria S. Welch went to the Boone’s Camp Event Hall in order to find out why her brother and his fiancee had suddenly been told that they were not welcome at the venue, Ms. Welch told the Washington Post.

Welch discovered that the reason why the events space would not allow the wedding to be performed there was due to the fact that Welch's brother is black and his fiancee is white.

YouTube | Deep South Voice

Welch filmed the encounter with a representative of the events hall who has remained anonymous. The woman is thought to be the hall's owner Donna Russell according to Deep South Voice, but this is yet to be confirmed. The video has since gone viral.

The woman in the video can be heard saying: "First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race".

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The reasoning that she gave Welch for this standpoint was, "[It's] because of our Christian race — I mean, our Christian belief."

Welch (picture below) explained that her family is also of Christian beliefs, but the woman in the video still refused.

Facebook | Lakambria Welch

Welch explained: "We're christians as well, so..."

To which the woman simply replied, "Yes ma'am."

When Welch continued to ask where in the bible it justifies the events hall's position, the woman in the video simply replied, "Well, I don't want to argue my faith."

Welch initially shared the video on her Facebook profile, however, she has since removed it from public view.

Reactions came flooding in immediately, with the woman in the video and the event hall itself being branded "racists".

The viral video quickly amassed over 2 million views, prompting Boone’s Camp Event Hall to issue an apology.

Facebook | Becky Roberts

The apology (above) was deleted from Facebook, but not before one user managed to screenshot it.

The organization's extensive apology hid behind a claim that growing up "our racial boundaries that were unstated were that of staying within your own race." The apology then described that the woman in the video has now come to the realization that the bible doesn't say anything about interracial marriage.

The backlash has been so severe that Boone’s Camp Event Hall has been forced to remove itself from Facebook and other social media.

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The hall's Yelp page was also so flooded with negative 1 star reviews, that it has been placed under suspension.

Welch described how talking to the woman, thought to be owner Donna Russell, "gave me chills."

YouTube | Deep South Voice

In an interview with the Washington Post, Welch said:

"When [the woman in the video] explained that she doesn’t do the two specific type of weddings, I felt myself starting to shake."

The City of Booneville's Facebook profile also posted its own reponse to the now viral video.

Facebook | City of Booneville

Despite the attempts to distance themselves the viral video, the City of Booneville's Facebook page review has received a considerable amount of negative feedback.

This is also not the first time that Boone’s Camp Event Hall has come under fire for discrimination.

Twitter | Pride Radio

According to Deep South Voice, a woman called Katelynn Springsteen claimed that back in 2018, the hall refused to accommodate the wedding of Ms Springsteen's friend due to the fact that the marriage was between two women.

Springsteen revealed a screenshot of the conversation on her Facebook page.

Deep South Voice | Katelynn Springsteen

Sadly, however, due to a bill passed in Mississippi back in 2016, this sort of discrimination is not illegal.

Back in 2016, Mississippi passed a controversial bill which permits businesses to refuse service to gay couples due to religious beliefs.

Twitter | Phil Bryant

The bill has been accused of allowing lawful discrimination. However, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (above) at the time described the bill as, "protect[ing] sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions," according to the BBC.

The bill makes no reference to race.

Despite the apology from the Boone’s Camp Event Hall team, the backlash has been so negative that it is hard to imagine them being able to open again any time soon.

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Hopefully, Welch's brother and his fiancee will have a lovely wedding somewhere not owned by people who hold such unpleasant views.

h/t: Buzzfeed News