After enough whining, a same-sex couple in California finally got a victory over a winery venue owned by a religious couple.
Viaggio Estate & Winery in Acampo will host a homosexual marriage between two 25-year-old lesbians, Dezanea Reyes and Alex Biddle.
The controversy started after the gay couple emailed the winery and made inquiries about whether they would host their same-sex wedding.
In response, the winery acknowledged that though California law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, “the owner also has a very strong personal religious belief regarding marriage, which is for marriage to be between heterosexual couples only.”
The winery’s response was posted on social media, of course. Then came the expected backlash – with bad Yelp reviews and negative national publicity, all instigated by an aggressive homosexual media campaign.
The winery’s owners, Teri and Larry Lawrence, suddenly felt a change of heart.
“In recent communications with potential visitors, I tried to explore options for celebrations that would accommodate both my religious beliefs and the expectations of our community,’ Lawrence wrote in a statement released on Wednesday.
“I realize now that contrary to my intent, this was hurtful to the people involved. Our staff, our customers and our community have helped me see that I was wrong. Our policy has been changed, effective immediately.”
Though at first glance, it may appear as if the winery did a complete 180, the owners did admit that it had previously hosted LGBTQ events in the past.
Reyes, for her part, was very thankful for the winery’s decision to ultimately host her gay marriage, but said it was nothing more than a “pity” move to stop the backlash.
“We’re all people, and no matter who we decide to marry, or who we decide to be with, we shouldn’t feel like it’s wrong for us to reach out to companies and ask for inquiries,’ Reyes said. ‘On the business aspect, yes, I do believe [the winery] was discriminating. At the end of the day, we’re all God’s people,” Reyes told the Daily Mail.
The lesson Viaggio Estate & Winery would like all Christians to learn?
Religious convictions are only as deep as your wallet can afford.