A lesbian couple in Kansas thought they had secured the perfect venue for their upcoming nuptials. But Ali Waggy and her fiancée Jessica Robinson couldn’t have prepared for the email they received from the venue Sunday night.
Waggy had always dreamed of a old-fashioned wedding in a Kansas barn, so when Waggy, her parents, her children, and Robinson toured the Grace Hill venue with the owners, they fell in love with its picturesque appeal and decided it was the perfect place to tie the knot.
“Imagine going to your dream wedding venue with your fiancé, kids & parents,” Waggy posted to Facebook. “Seeing it, falling even more in love with it, deciding it’s it. Your parents coming over & making lists, coming up with plans.”
After touring, the couple was ready to commit with deposits. Waggy proceeded to email the owners with follow up questions before arranging a contract.
Usually shocking emails surrounding weddings include an invoice over budget or an angry aunt who wants to lord over the seating chart, but the email Waggy and Robinson received stopped them in their tracks.
“While our deeply held religious belief keeps us from celebrating anything but marriage between a man and woman, we desire to serve everyone equally and do not want to keep anyone from using our building who would like to,” wrote the venue co-owner, Amanda Balzer. “Our hearts are to serve, regardless of race, creed, color, origin, sexual orientation, gender or marital status, while maintaining our convictions and beliefs as well.”
(Talk about a mixed message!)
“Honestly, I just started crying hysterically, and it was pretty awful and heart-crushing,” Waggy said.
In her Facebook post, Waggy called out Balzer’s wishy-washy rejection. She characterized it, “Basically, ‘it’s illegal for me to tell you you can’t use it; so you can. We will take your money, but we’re not going to celebrate your marriage & want to make sure you know that.”
Balzer called the response “an open and honest line of communication” to let Waggy “know who we are and where our heart is.” Why couldn’t she say that in person before the tour started and the couple fell in love with the venue? Your guess is as good as mine.
“I’ve cried all night…” Waggy shared on Facebook. “People suck.”
Luckily, Waggy and Robinson have received overwhelming support from their friends and family, and the internet at large, including recommendations for venues that would happily host them.