A Tennessee couple was turned away from hosting their wedding at a popular venue after the owner learned they were gay, but a nearby venue responded to the news by offering the couple use of their own venue at a discounted rate.
Mike Gill told TMZ he and his partner Coty wanted to get married at the Barn in the Bend, a popular and picturesque wedding venue just outside Nashville. Things appeared to be going fine with the planning, and the Barn sent two different pricing options for the wedding in an email to Gill. The signature line of the first email from the Barn’s owner, Jackie Daniel, read “We offer same-sex marriage ceremonies only,” so Gill had no reason to expect a problem.
It was only after Daniel realized Gill was marrying another man that she slammed the door on using her venue for the wedding.
“Did you mention that your partner was a ‘he’[?]” Daniel wrote in a follow-up email, according to copies of the emails provided to TMZ. “If I’m wrong I’m sorry. However, I don’t want to waste your time since we do not offer same-sex marriages here. If I’m wrong, I apologize.”
Daniel’s signature was also changed to now read “We do not offer same-sex marriage ceremonies.”
In a third email, she wrote that her “religious beliefs” prevented her from conducting marriages between two members of the same sex, and that she was already aware of the negative publicity her decision and policy would bring.
“I see you wasted no time with the reviews and that too is your right just as my choice of ceremony types at my venue is my choice,” Daniel wrote in a third email. “That is why people have lots of choices out there and I know you will find a perfect fit for you and your partner.”
It didn’t take long at all for Gill to find a new venue. Gill told TMZ several venues reached out when news broke of their rejection at the Barn. He said offers came in from Tennessee, West Virginia, and even as far away as Louisiana, and many offered big discounts to hold the wedding. The pair eventually settled on The Grove at Williamson Family Farm in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (@thegroveatwilliamsonplace). The couple also received discounted offers from photographers, opting to go with Jared Laycock of Wish Well Photography (@wishwellphoto).
The happy couple didn’t provide a firm date for exchanging their vows, but the couple was happy they got a whole lot more to spend on their honeymoon and future together thanks to the anti-LGBTQ+ policies of a particular barn in Nashville.