Mississippi venue apologizes for turning down interracial wedding

A Mississippi event venue apologized in a since-deleted Facebook post after it faced backlash for refusing to host an interracial wedding, citing the owner’s “Christian beliefs.”

LaKambria Welch drove to Boone’s Camp Event Hall on Saturday after her brother and his fiancee had been told by the venue they were no longer welcome to hold their event at the location, Welch told The Washington Post.

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Welch recorded the interaction with a woman, identified as the venue owner, in a video that was first reported by Deep South Voice and has millions of views across social media platforms. 

“First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race,” the woman says. 

“OK, so why not?” Welch asks. 

“Because of our Christian race, I mean our Christian beliefs,” she responds. 

The woman would not point to what in the Bible informs her beliefs when asked, saying, “I don’t want to argue my faith.” 

In the since-deleted Facebook post, which was screenshot and shared by others, the venue owner apologized for what was said in the video and said she realized she had been wrong that her "Christian beliefs" said anything about banning interracial marriages. 

“To all of those offended, hurt or felt condemn by my statement I truly apologize to you for my ignorance in not knowing the truth about this,” the now-deleted apology read. “My intent was never of racism, but to stand firm on what I ‘assumed’ was right concerning marriage.”

“As a child growing up in Mississippi our racial boundaries that were stated were that of staying with your own race. This was never verbally spoken, but it was an understood subject,” it reads. 

She added that her husband asked her on Saturday night to find the part in the Bible “concerning biracial relationships.” 

After studying and sitting down with her pastor, the owner said she realized she was wrong. 

“I have come to the conclusion that my decision which was based on what I had thought was correct to be supported by The Bible was incorrect! I have, for many years, stood firm on my Christian faith not knowing that biracial relationships were NEVER mentioned in the Bible!” she said. 

The venue’s Facebook page appears to no longer be active. The Hill left a message with the venue on Tuesday. 

A Mississippi law passed in 2016 allows businesses to deny services to LGBT people based on religious objections and allows clerks to avoid issuing marriage licenses to same-sex sex couples. 

The state law does not address marriage between interracial couples, which has been legal in all U.S. states since a 1967 Supreme Court decision. 

The city of Booneville weighed in on the controversy, issuing a Facebook statement that the mayor and board “do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.”

“Furthermore, the City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not condone or approve these types of discriminatory policies.”