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- A viral video appears to show the owner of Boone’s Camp Event Hall in Boonville, Mississippi, declining to host an interracial couple’s wedding because the venue doesn’t do “gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race – I mean, our Christian belief.”
- LaKambria S. Welch went to the event hall over the weekend in search for answers after she said her brother, who is black, and her future sister-in-law, who is white, were refused service at the venue due to religious beliefs.
- Welch recorded the exchange between herself and the venue owner, which went viral on Twitter and gained over 2 million views at the time this article was published.
- The event hall faced significant backlash on social media – even prompting a response from the City of Boonville – and the owner issued an apology on the business’s now-deleted Facebook page.
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A viral video shows a Mississippi event hall owner declining to host an interracial couple’s wedding because the venue doesn’t do “gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race – I mean, our Christian belief.”
LaKambria S. Welch went to Boone’s Camp Event Hall in Boonville, Mississippi, this weekend in search for answers after she said her brother, who is black, and her future sister-in-law, who is white, were told they could not have their wedding at the venue, Deep South News reported.
Welch recorded an exchange with a woman who is allegedly the venue owner. The video shows a woman saying the event hall doesn’t host gay or interracial weddings, citing religious beliefs as the reason.The video went viral on Twitter and gained over two million views at the time this article was published.
NEW: A Mississippi venue allegedly cancelled a couple's wedding plans after discovering the couple was a black man + a white woman.
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) September 1, 2019
In the video, Welch appears to ask the venue owner where the Bible explicitly rejects interracial marriage, to which the owner responds that she doesn’t want to “argue her faith.”
“We just don’t participate,” the woman says in the video. “We just choose not to.”
In the apology, the apparent owner explained how she tried to locate where in the Bible forbade biracial relationships. She wrote that, after not being able to do so, she came to the “conclusion my decision which was based on what I had thought was correct to be supported by The Bible was incorrect!”
“To all of those offended, hurt or felt condemn [sic] by my statement I truly apologize to you for my ignorance in not knowing the truth about this,” the owner wrote, per screenshots of the statement on the since-deleted Facebook page. “My intent was never racism, but to stand firm on what I ‘assumed’ was right concerning marriage.”
“When the bible tells us ‘study to show ourselves approved,’ I have failed to do that on this subject,” she continued, according to screenshots of the apology. “If I have learned anything from this it would be to know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth! Again… my sincerest apologies to all!”
The Mississippi legislature passed a law in 2016 that allows businesses to refuse service to members of the LGBTQ+ community on the basis of religious beliefs. The law does not mention refusing service on the basis of race.
Interracial marriage became legal nationwide in 1967 in the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia.