An Arizona wedding planner last week refused to work with a same-sex couple once she realized that they were gay.
Kenyata White found Susan Latimer’s wedding planning business online and started working with Latimer to plan a December wedding. White referred to her fiancée Chrystal Allen just as her fiancée during the first stages of the planning process.
But when White mentioned her fiancée by name, Latimer, an ordained minister, said she could no longer plan the wedding.
“We are very uncomfortable with same-sex marriage as it is directly against our beliefs. We would not be a very good fit,” Latimer wrote to White a week ago.
“It was just crazy that she (Rev. Latimer) just completely turned,” White said about the email, according to KTAR. “I really felt like our conversations and our interaction was really genuine, and she really did like me at first.”
Because the business, AffordableWeddingMinisters.com is run by two ordained ministers, Latimer’s refusal may not be illegal.
Attorney Brendan Mahoney, who helped draft the Phoenix LGBT anti-discrimination law, told Arizona TV station 12 News that the First Amendment protects religious businesses from anti-discrimination law.
“If they’re licensed ministers, they get to say who they want to marry and who they don’t,” Mahoney said.
Allen told KTAR that she does not have plans to press charges against Latimer.
“I guess we’ll have to wait and let the Phoenix Equal Opportunity department determine that issue,” she said.
In an email statement to Arizona news outlets, Latimer defended her right not to work with gay couples.
“No matter what I say to you I believe it will be twisted by the media,” she said. “By the stroke of one Federal Judges pen we are being dictated what the state says moral law should be. This goes directly against Gods laws and the majority of Arizona voters in 2008.”
Latimer said that it’s her beliefs that are not tolerated.
“There is a war on those who believe on Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit and the WORD of GOD. Why is my freedom being taken away? Where is the tolerance for our way of life?” she wrote. “God ordained marriage between man and woman. I feel same sex marriage is wrong and have every right to believe in what GOD’s WORD says.”