This week read about a wedding venue rejecting a same-sex couple in Tennessee, and a transphobic gym teacher back at work in Virginia.
Tennessee Wedding Venue Rejects Gay Couple
Mike Gill and Coty Heaton are a newly engaged couple on the hunt for the perfect wedding venue. When they found the Barn in the Bend in Madison, Tennessee, they reached out to the owner, Jackie Daniel, in hopes of securing the location.
The Advocate reported that while Gill was scheduling a tour of the venue, Daniel’s signature included the phrase, “We offer same-sex marriage ceremonies only.” The couple had taken this as their sign that they picked the right venue for their marriage.
However, the next email the couple received from Daniel looked different. The signature instead read, “We do not offer same-sex marriage ceremonies.”
In her email, Daniel wrote, “Did you mention that your partner was a ‘he’? If I’m wrong, I’m sorry.” Daniel then explained that if Gill’s partner was a man then she would not be able to host their wedding at the venue because they “do not offer same-sex marriages here.”
Daniel cited her religious beliefs as the reason behind the policy.
Heaton shared his story on Facebook and soon the venue’s Yelp page had a surge of negative reviews from friends, allies, and members of the LGBT community.
Transphobic Gym Teacher Returns to Classroom
Photo via PxHere.
Tanner Cross is a public-school gym teacher in Virginia who was fired after making a statement during a May Loudoun County Public Schools board meeting. The Virginia Supreme Court upheld the decision to reinstate Cross into his teaching position.
Cross had told school officials that he would not be able to respect students’ chosen pronouns because of his religious beliefs, LGBTQ Nation reported.
He said he could not “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa” as it would be “lying to a child … abuse to a child … and it’s sinning against our God.” Two days later, Cross was placed on administrative leave. Cross then filed a lawsuit against Loudoun County, arguing that his “freedom of speech” was violated.
The school’s lawyers said that Cross was placed on leave after multiple calls from concerned parents, however, the courts stated the school did not prove that Cross’ presence would be a “significant disruption” of school functions.
The court ruled in Cross’ favor and Loudoun County enacted a new policy earlier in the month, expecting staff to affirm trans students and to “allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity.”