Winston-Salem same-sex couple upset after being turned away from venue due to sexual orientation

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A couple was told to find another place to get married because they are gay.

An employee at The Warehouse on Ivy event center sent Kasey Mayfield and Brianna May the rejection email.

The women were upset, as they were beginning to plan one of the happiest days of their lives.

“It was extremely special,” Mayfield said, recounting her engagement.

After two and a half years of dating, Mayfield and May wanted to end 2020 on a high note.

“We wanted to bring a little bit of joy into our lives,” Mayfield said.

She started searching for the perfect place to say “I do.”

She found one in Winston-Salem: The Warehouse on Ivy.

“I got an email asking questions, like how many people? What dates were you thinking?” Mayfield said.

One question on the list stood out: what is the groom’s name?

“I said the other bride’s name was Brianna,” Mayfield said.

That’s when she was told the venue wouldn’t accommodate her.

The message from an employee at the event center said, “unfortunately, we do not host same-sex marriages.”

“It was very painful and hurtful,” Mayfield said. “I was in shock when I read it because I wasn’t expecting that.”

FOX8 reached out to the same employee at The Warehouse on Ivy.

No one would go on camera, but FOX8 was given a statement, saying, “Although we love and respect everyone in our community, their own decision making and beliefs, we also strongly believe in our Christian values.”

“We couldn’t even believe it. It’s 2020, almost 2021, and gay marriage has been legal for over five years,” Mayfield said. “It’s not something that was expected.”

In North Carolina, wedding venues can legally discriminate based on sexual orientation.

“It’s their choice. It is what it is. I wasn’t trying to say they had to host us. If they don’t want us, then we don’t want to be there either,” Mayfield said.

The email still stings.

“It’s really hurtful, getting denied just because of who you are,” she said.

But the couple is determined to stay positive, and not let this situation take away from their happiness.

“At the end of the day, we’re still gay,” Mayfield said. “We’re still going to get married in Winston-Salem and it’s still going to be amazing, even if it’s not at this one venue.”

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