Wedding homophobia and heterosexism alive and well in Michigan!

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and have always believe people are people and we should all be respected just as another individual…to me it’s as simple as the “do unto others” thing that our Mom’s all tried to teach us.

It makes no difference to me what color you are, who you love or what you do in your bedroom, that’s just none of anyone’s business but yours. Because this is something I live and breathe and not just a tag-line I honestly really hard time understanding such prejudice from other people.

But out here in the boon-docks of SW Michigan apparently things are a little different and all I can hear in my head is “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!”

Here’s what prompted all this – I’m working with a couple who is planning their Commitment Ceremony for next summer and I get an email back from one of the local venues that says “At this time, we are not hosting ceremonies and receptions for same-sex couples at The (NAME WITHHELD). I’m not sure what the future will bring, but that is our current policy.” Talk about a jaw dropping moment for me!

I just don’t know what to think but I am feeling pretty naive right now, I guess living in Saugatuck, which is a very open town with a large gay population, I didn’t think I would get that reaction from a new venue that is less than 30 miles from here.

But I’m quite the bull-dog and can’t bring myself to shut-up and play nice (hence this blog). My first reaction is to tell this venue to jump in the Lake and I won’t be bringing anyone out there until they change their policies.

Doing that could go either way, they know a lot of the wedding pro’s in the area so I could either be shooting myself in the foot or making a bunch of new friends. As much as I do love new friends – this move has the potential to get me “black balled” with other vendors in the area…or least that’s my fear.

If I didn’t have to ever work again I would be shouting their name off the rooftop, taking out ad space in the local papers and plastering my Facebook and Tweets with things like “DO NOT BOOK HERE!” but I am trying to be reasonable (and professional).

So my questions to all of you is – if you were in my shoes what would you do?

7 Responses to “Wedding homophobia and heterosexism alive and well in Michigan!

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I'm going through the same thing in Philadelphia. Last Sunday I attended a Bridal Expo at a reputable hotel with my bride-to-be and our maids-of-honor in toe. (Both of which were straight). We were stopped by a photographer and asked how many brides in our party. We said two and let him go on with his schpeal. He asked, "And when is the date?" I responded, "It's July 10th. We are marrying eachother". He got a glazed look over his face and just starred at us. So I replied, "Well thank you for your time", and started to walk away. We certainly felt the natural uncomfortability of the moment. He then tried to correct me by calling it a "committment and not a marriage" which clearly was not a line to cross at a bridal expo where you are looking for customers and not political recruitment. This shocked neither myself or my partner, but our maids-of-honors were upset. This was the first time either of them experianced the other side of the coin. It's a reality. Even in ultra-gay friendly Philly.

  • Marcinho Savant
    7 years ago

    Thank your for calling vendors to task as well!

    Thanks, too, for your compassion and honor. There is no gray area in equality and, while vendors can certainly decide whom they wish to serve, all of us need to shine the light on their continuing bigotry and fear.

  • Broke-ass Bride
    8 years ago

    I would make your point, but go gently into that good night. I'm with Lauren, I think you should definitely write a letter expressing your feelings in a deep and constructive way. But I also agree with Bernadette, The Rev and Robin: a little teasing of it can't hurt. Tweet how disappointed and surprised you were to be turned down, but don't sink to attacks (not that I think you would). Its a fine line, but you can do it! I'm proud of you for taking a stance, not everyone would, but everyone should :) xoxo

  • Robyn Smith
    8 years ago

    Unfortunately, prejudice still exists in our society and I think that venue is shooting themselves in the foot by promoting their objection to same-sex marriage publicly. In Mi, same-sex marriage isn't even legal yet (for some stupid reason), so why would they post that message?

    I think a little negative word of mouth, done with integrity and professionalism, isn't a bad thing. Of course, you'll never be able to change the opinions of those who feel that way, so I wouldn't try to preach to them. But maybe let your loyal readers and clients a heads-up that places like this do exist.

    Oh- and I just gotta say it for those of us who do live in Michigan; not all of us are homophobic!

    Good luck :)

  • Reverend Hoot
    8 years ago

    You are SO right Bernadette! Do I really think I will loose business over it – maybe – but if that's how they feel I probably don't want to work with them anyway…no amount of money is not worth my integrity!

  • Bernadette Smith
    8 years ago

    I would mention the venue's name in your blog and on twitter. And boycott them. You can maintain your integrity even by calling them out. It's not your job to educate them or other area vendors but there's no shame in calling them out for their bad behavior. Do you really think you'll lose business if you call them out? It doesn't matter if other vendors think it's bad behavior on your part – as an officiant/planner, you are in a position of power and the one who brings them business and I'm sure they'd be happy to take it.

    Integrity all the way. You won't regret it and you'll get more clients too.

  • It is a tough one. I am all about ethics, so when I run into issues similar to your own, it creates quite a bit of mental havoc for me. Although I do not like to associate myself with bias people whom I do don't share opinions with (ethical opinions), I also know that it is not MY place to judge their opinions.

    So boycott, spread bad word, just leave it alone? So many options…

    Personally, I'm a letter writer. Write them a letter expressing your feelings. Be sure to mention ALL of the potentional clients they are missing out on because of this policy. Research and get some numbers on how many ceremonies take place a month.

    Just be sure to read it before you send it… Make sure nothing was written in (too much) anger.

What do you think?