While the majority of the country seems to be leaning closer and closer to marriage equality, we still have those tiny pockets of discontent that are head-snapping, foot-stomping, and cutting off their noses to spite their faces rather than accept the inevitable: gay people are getting married to gay people.
With the first legal, same-sex marriages in Maryland planned for January 1, one company, Discover Annapolis Tours, will stop doing weddings rather than cater to The Gays. And while there is still a "weddings" page on their official website, a brief note says the company no longer does weddings and promises to explain more by the first of the year.
Matt Grubbs, the company owner, says, “There’s lots of different sides to it.” But he did note the side that included some drivers and tour guides who don't necessarily share his beliefs on same-sex marriage.
Grubbs never officially announced his decision to stop doing weddings because of marriage equality. Rather, the story broke after a couple planning to marry in Annapolis researched transportation options and learned of the company’s change in policy, and notified the website.
A Facebook page--and don't you know every single thing that happens in the world today results in a newly created Facebook page--drew some 200 comments, some critical and some defending Grubbs’ right to make a business decision based on his convictions.
“The initial fervor has kind of vanished,” Grubbs said, also acknowledging that he hadn’t heard of any other businesses getting out of the wedding industry as a result of the same-sex marriage law.
Under the Civil Marriage Protection Act—passed by lawmakers this spring and upheld by voters on Election Day—ministers and religious institutions are not required to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies. But there are no such exceptions for wedding-related businesses and existing laws on nondiscrimination in public accommodations would apply in cases like this.
Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, the state’s leading gay rights organization, declined to comment on Discover Annapolis Tours’ decision but she did say that this was the first Maryland business she'd heard of that is limiting its services based on the new law. Mostly she has heard from wedding businesses eager to market their services to same-sex couples.
It's funny that these businesses owners don't see their decisions to deny services to gay and lesbians couples is the same thing as businesses who denied their services to Black people back in the day. it's discrimination.
But a part of me, a small part, kinda wishes they could deny their services as long as they publicly post a sign on their business, their websites and all their advertisements, which says "We don't cater to the LGBT community."
Or more simply, "Straights only."
And see how that uproar works out.