Mississippi Event Hall Refused to Host Interracial Couple, Turns Away Family Member in Viral Video Citing 'Christian Belief'

The owner of a Mississippi event hall has issued an apology after turning down an interracial couple due to her Christian beliefs.  A video of her refusal was captured and had gone viral.

A woman who is believed to be the owner of Boone’s Camp Event in Boonesville, Mississippi is now the subject of headlines following the release of a video of her refusing to allow an interracial couple to use her venue due to her faith. 

THE CONTROVERSIAL EXCHANGE

LaKambria Welch, the sister of the would-be-groom learned of the unfortunate incident after her brother who’s Black told her he and his White fiancé had been turned down by the woman because of her religious beliefs against mixed marriage.

To find out more about the issue, Welch met with the owner and filmed their conversation. She recorded the woman saying

"First of all, we don't do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race — I mean, our Christian belief."

When Welch argued that she was Christian too and challenged the woman to tell her which part of the Bible indicates that mixed marriage is prohibited, the woman replied,

"Well, I don't want to argue my faith. We just don't participate."

In 2016, the "Religious Freedom" bill was passed in Mississippi protecting the right of business owners to refuse service to same-sex partners and transgender people due to religious beliefs. However, it does not include mixed race as a reason to turn away customers.  

THE AFTERMATH

Welch thought it best to highlight the shocking refusal of the woman by posting the video on Facebook which was quickly picked up by the website, Deep South Voice which first reported it. The clip went viral soon after. 

Welch told the Washington Post later that she was shaking when she heard the woman’s declarations herself. “Just hearing it gave me chills,” she said

Meanwhile, Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign tweeted that “Religion should never be exploited as a license to discriminate.”

"My intent was never of racism, but to stand firm on what I 'assumed' was right concerning marriage."

THE WOMAN'S APOLOGY

Due to the controversy that spawned from her refusal to accommodate the mixed-race couple, the owner of Boone’s Camp Event through its Facebook page issued an apology which has now been deleted. In her message, she admitted her ignorance about what the Bible says regarding mixed marriage.

“I have, for many years, stood firm on my Christian faith not knowing that biracial relationships were NEVER mentioned in The Bible!” she wrote. “All of the years I had ‘assumed’ in my mind that I was correct, but have never taken the opportunity to research and find whether this was correct or incorrect until now."

The woman said that after speaking to her pastor she realized that nothing in the Bible states that interracial marriages are prohibited. 

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

The woman reportedly reached out to the couple she refused and offered her venue after realizing her mistake but Welch told the Times that her brother had already received offers from other venues.

MISSISSIPPI'S RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BILL

In 2016, the "Religious Freedom" bill was passed in Mississippi protecting the right of business owners to refuse service to same-sex partners and transgender people due to religious beliefs. However, it does not include mixed race as a reason to turn away customers.  

In this day and age when mixed marriages are more common even among celebrities (i.e Serena Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian and Tamera Mowry and husband, Adam Housley), it's surprising that there are still those who choose not to accept this reality. These couples are still being bashed for their decision to love unconditionally.  

This story of Welch's brother should serve as a reminder to many that interracial marriages are not to be condemned and are definitely not against Christian beliefs.

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