Mississippi woman denies venue rental to inter-racial couple, citing ‘Christian beliefs’

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Mississippi is in the national news again and not in a good way.

Saturday, Aug. 31, LaKambria Welch and her mother drove to Boone’s Camp Event Hall in Booneville, Miss., to get an explanation of why her brother and his fiancée—and their upcoming wedding—were no longer welcome at the venue.

In an email to The Washington Post, Welch said the couple had been coordinating with the venue and had even confirmed a date when they were informed that they weren’t welcome.

The reason? The couple is mixed race. Welch’s brother is black and his fiancée is white.

Welch made a video of her encounter with a woman supposedly Boone’s Camp owner, which went viral after Welch posted it on social media.

“First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race…because of our Christian race, I mean, our Christian belief,” the owner says.

Welch’s reaction was visceral.

“When she explained that she doesn’t do the two specific type of weddings, I felt myself starting to shake,” Welch told the Post. “…just hearing it gave me the chills.”

By early this morning, the video had been viewed more than two million times as it was shared on Twitter and YouTube, the Post says. The encounter was first reported Sunday by the Deep South Voice website.

The video garnered a lot of criticism. People called the owners “hateful racists” among other choice insults.

Boone’s Camp Event Hall has taken down it’s Facebook page as a result of the backlash, but before it did, it posted an apology.

“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 apology stated. “My intent was never of racism, but to stand firm on what I ‘assumed’ was right concerning marriage.” The owner added that after hours of scouring the Bible, she realized she was “incorrect” in her belief.

The Post added that the venue could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mississippi passed a law in 2016 that protects those with “sincerely held religious believes or moral convictions” from same-sex marriages, extramarital sex or transgender people. The law doesn’t mention race.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized Inter-racial marriage in the United States with the Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967.

In a Facebook post Monday, The City of Booneville said it was aware of the incident, saying the city, “Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or military status … and do not condone or approve these types of discriminatory policies.”

“It was only a matter of time before ‘religious protections’ would justify racial discrimination,” one person tweeted. “First, they came for the gays …”