Saturday, October 16

“Disheartening and Humiliating”: Ohio Wedding Venue Refuses to Hold Same-Sex Ceremony

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A Piqua, Ohio couple says that a Casstown, Ohio wedding venue has refused to hold their wedding because they are a same-sex couple.

Though the website for Light on the Hill describes the venue as being perfect “for any occasion,” Reagan Bowen and Deandra Fair told told WHIO-TV that they were informed “any occasion” does not include same-sex weddings.

Bowen and Fair got engaged in September of 2020 and thought they had found the perfect venue with Light on the Hill. Though venue’s website describes the owners as having “Christian roots and family-focused spirit,” there is no language on the site detailing that same-sex weddings may not be performed on-site.

Screenshot from WHIO-TV

Bowen shared with WHIO-TV a screenshot that she says is from the venue reading, “I am sorry Regan, because of our Christian beliefs, we do not believe in same sex marriages at the venue. I wanted to respond back to you and be upfront with you.”

“It was just so disheartening and humiliating,” says Bowen. “I was raised in a church my whole life. I know that God created everybody and that He created me and that He knew who I was before I was. So I think it was disheartening for Him as well.”

When reached for comment by WHIO-TV, representatives for Light on the Hill confirmed that they do indeed have a policy against same-sex ceremonies.

Bowen and Fair said that they have received threats since they have gone public with their story, sharing a message that read, “This is against America and if I ever saw you, you’d be in deep trouble.”

The couple said that they already have another venue, that they do not have any plans to sue, and that this experience has not damaged their relationship.

“We’re just us and I don’t think anything could change that,” said Bowen. “If anything, it brought us closer together than tore us apart.” 🔥

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The Buckeye Flame amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ Ohioans to support community and civic empowerment through the creation of engaging content that chronicles our triumphs, struggles, and lived experiences.

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2 Comments

  1. Daniel Mullen on

    I hope this couple finds a venue that provides the best possible wedding experience! I live in Cuyahoga County, so I am used to having many alternative options to choose from. (And of course my county is very liberal on the whole) This story reminds me that people in smaller towns can get boxed in by antigay views.

    However, I am heartened by the humanity with which this venue communicated its views. This is the least we should expect from a pluralistic and free society.

  2. How do businesses continue to show how bigoted they are and not get shut down? These people did the same to my family and it needs to stop. They lied and manipulated the situation to spread their ugliness

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