‘Homophobic’ Joburg venue refuses to host a gay wedding

2015-02-09 12:40

A popular wedding venue has come under fire for its “anti-gay” stance after it reportedly refused to host another couple because it “doesn’t do gay weddings”.

Sean Hydes and Shawn Swiegers were turned away from Oakfield Farm, a popular wedding venue in Johannesburg, because of their sexual orientation.

The venue is currently under investigation by the Commission for Gender Equality for sexual discrimination after a complaint was filed against it last year.

In the latest allegations, Mambaonline reported that the couple went to visit the venue which, over the phone, seemed happy to have them until they arrived in person.

When the woman who runs these bookings realised that she was dealing with a same-sex couple she seemed “flustered” and informed them that “she doesn’t do gay weddings”.

She suggested the couple rather deal with the owner of the establishment, Matthew Stubbs.

Stubbs told the confused couple that while he didn’t “mind gay people” he could not host their wedding at his venue because it went against his religious beliefs.

Hydes has said the whole incident was “embarrassing and humiliating”. He explained that his biggest complaint was that the venue wasn’t upfront about its bigoted policy.

“They kind of pretend to be open to it but then they ambush you while you are there filling out the forms and doing a tour. At least be honest about it. It’s very unprofessional for such a well-known venue,” he said.

The venue is becoming quite infamous for its anti-gay stance.

In April last year, the Commission for Gender Equality notified Oakfield Farm that it was investigating a complaint against it of unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In March last year, the chief executive of the South African Human Rights Commission, Kayum Ahmed, said that service providers were not allowed to discriminate against gay and lesbian people because this is a violation of the Constitution and the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.

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