When the Gay Agenda Goes Too Far
“Unfortunately at this time I do not offer services for same-sex weddings, but thank you for your inquiry!”
This is the message an Ohio videography company sent to Jenn Moffitt and Jerra Knicely when the lesbian couple was seeking to have their upcoming nuptials filmed. The couple got pissed, filed a discrimination complaint and now the entire community of Bexley, Ohio is up in arms and demanding the videographer get with the times.
But should the couple, or the town for that matter, have the right to make such demands?
As a former wedding videographer, I would’ve been ecstatic to have the opportunity to film a same-sex couple getting married. I would’ve been ecstatic to videotape anything outside of the hetero-normative, white-on-white bread ceremonies that I watched through a lens weekend after weekend. But just because I think same-sex weddings are awesome, does that mean a person with strong religious or personal convictions against same-sex marriage should be legally required to stand behind a camera and actively engage with a ceremony they disagree with? Not to mention the hours and hours videographers spend before and after the ceremony, meeting with the couple and editing footage.
Is refusing to offer a service to someone because of sexual orientation discrimination? Absolutely. Is it in the LGBTQ community’s best interest to publicly shame such a service and potentially ruin their entire business because of it? I don’t know that I can agree with that approach.
First of all, would you really want someone there on your special day, solely in charge of capturing every vow, kiss and googly eye, if they so obviously didn’t want to be a part of it? And second, would it really be that hard to just find a videographer who actually wants to film your wedding? I can’t answer that for Jenn Moffitt and Jerra Knicely. But I know that for myself, the response to both questions would be a resounding no and no.
Would I feel differently if this issue was with a non-religious event venue? You bet. A building is a building. A man could marry a rock inside and I bet it wouldn’t put any undue hardship on anyone. What about a bakery or caterers? My feelings are: Make the damn cake and have Uncle Jimmy drop it off if you can’t stand the sight of two brides. Filming or photographing an event is an extremely involved process, and I feel for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable jumping behind a camera in certain situations. Tattoo artists refuse paying customers all the time because of a variety of personal, artistic and professional disagreements, and no one is filing discrimination complaints against Kat Von D.
Does this couple have every right to be upset? Yes. Does forcing an artist to comply with anti-discrimination laws make that person less homophobic? Not likely. As a LGBTQ community, we have the right and honor to stand up for our fellow citizens and ourselves when it comes to equality–but fighting the good fight is not always the most effective way to educate and embrace those who disagree.