A Mississippi wedding venue is facing backlash after it refused to serve an interracial couple and an employee claimed the relationship violated her Christian beliefs.
LaKambria Welch — the sister of the groom, who is black and engaged to a white woman — went to Boone’s Camp Event Hall in Booneville to demand answers after her brother tried to book the venue and was turned down. She filmed her conversation with the employees.
When she got there, a woman at the event hall told her the venue didn’t allow “gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race.”
“I mean, our Christian belief,” the woman continued. When pressed further, she told Welch: “I don’t want to argue my faith.”
The town of nearly 8,700 people is mostly white, but about a quarter of its residents identify as black or Latinx, according to government data.
The venue, which has since deleted its Facebook page, posted an apology after widespread outrage when Welch posted the video online, according to the Washington Post. The apology acknowledged that interracial relationships aren’t addressed in the Bible to begin with, and that the owner simply “assumed” she was correct in her belief.
City officials also condemned the business’s actions, according to Deep South Voice, the media outlet that first reported on the incident.
“The City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not condone or approve these types of discriminatory policies,” the city said in a statement to the media outlet. In fact, state lawmakers passed a religious freedom law in 2016 that allows discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender, though that bill doesn’t mention race.
This is the second time in the past several days that a white person has made waves for opposing interracial marriage. In Marysville, Michigan, city council candidate Jean Cramer said she opposed interracial relationships because she wanted to keep her community white. She also claimed the Bible backed up her ideology. And in May, Hoschton, Georgia City Councilman Jim Cleveland told the Atlanta-Journal Constitution that interracial marriage violated his “Christian beliefs” and made his “blood boil.”
Laws prohibiting interracial marriage were overturned and deemed unconstitutional by a landmark Supreme Court decision in 1967. However, the nation’s last law banning interracial marriage — a state code in Alabama — wasn’t formally repealed until 2000, according to PBS.
Cover: In this July 5, 2019 Bibles are displayed in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)