Winery refused to host same-sex marriage due to religious beliefs


Teri and Larry Lawrence, owners of Viaggio Winery. (Viaggio Winery / Twitter)

A lesbian couple who asked to celebrate their wedding in a California vineyard were turned down because of the owner’s “religious beliefs”.

One of the brides posted his correspondence with the cellar on Facebook to call for a boycott after his “manifest homophobia”.

The email from Viaggio Winery’s Director of Weddings and Events read: “Although Viaggio Winery hosts your business, we have never had a gay wedding.

“[The owners] understand that California law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that they don’t like to think that they could one day discriminate on that basis even if they were allowed to do so by law.

However, the owner also has a very strong personal religious belief regarding marriage, which is that the marriage be only between heterosexual couples. They believe that the United States Constitution and the California Constitution protect these religious beliefs and their right to express them.

He then said the owners would be prepared to let the couple host their reception there and take photos in their wedding dresses, as long as the ceremony did not take place on their property.

Responses to the Facebook post included: “The nerve to think that you and your beautiful bride would want to spend a dime there, or expose your family and friends to such a bigoted environment, after being made aware of the owner’s ‘feelings’. “

Another said: “As a Christian, I’m so sick of people using Jesus as a cover or an excuse for their homophobia. So that they offer to take your money. What generosity. “

Viaggio cellar. (Twitter)

Vineyard owners Teri and Larry Lawrence are also real estate agents.

According to his biography on the couple’s real estate site, Lawrence is “an active member of Sacramento Eagle Forum, where she keeps abreast of current affairs concerning family and professional matters ”.

The Sacramento Eagle Forum says it opposes same-sex marriage, abortion, sex education that does not teach abstinence or “new world order” interventions.

The owners of the winery quickly changed their minds about their “religious beliefs”.

Lawrence subsequently made a statement to FOX40 in which she said she had changed her mind about allowing same-sex couples to marry in the cellar.

She said: “I now realize that contrary to my intention, this was hurtful to those involved. Our staff, customers and community helped me see that I was wrong.

The couple have found another place and are now happily married.

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