After receiving multiple complaints related to the CityPlace Expo Center at 112 S 1st Street, La Grange, KY for not permitting same-sex weddings, many venues booking websites have also exercised their right to remove them because of their discriminatory policy.
“The issue for the Kentucky Equality Federation is that the Oldham County Chamber & Economic Development offices (www.oldhamcountychamber.com) are also located at the CityPlace Expo Center (Oldham County Chamber of Commerce), and we will not tolerate tax dollars funding discrimination,” stated Kentucky Equality Federation and Earth Equality Alliance Secretary-General Jordan Palmer.
Owned by The Rawlings Foundation, doing business as The Rawlings Group (www.rawlingsgroup.com), the CityPlace Exhibition and Convention Center claim:
The CityPlace Exhibition and Convention Center has been developed for economic expansion and to help provide a vision of the great potential that can be realized for the Oldham County and Louisville area.
Palmer continued: “A true follower of Christ, who is pure of heart, would never discriminate against anyone. It is forbidden. Even if they do not agree with behavior or actions, you still love the person unconditionally. That is the true meaning of Christianity and yet as a society, we continue to find ways to forsake people or discriminate against them in defiance of the teachings of Christ.
The constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky gives everyone the right to religious freedom, meaning they may worship in any manner they see fit, and whatever deity they see fit. In the 1990’s however, Congress opened a Pandora’s box when it started tampering with religious freedom to justify discrimination. Although this was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as beyond federal authority, decades later, the lawmakers in the several states started passing similar laws.
Today we look to other nation-states for civil rights, such as Canada, not only for accepting refugees but for equality. Last year the Canadian Supreme Court ruled in favor of denying accreditation to a university for banning students who have had sex outside of marriage or gay sex. With a ruling heard around the World, the Canadian Supreme Court correctly ruled that protecting students from discrimination trumped religious freedom.”
To be fair, the Kentucky Equality Federation contacted Oldham County Chamber & Economic Development Executive Director David Bizianes who issued this statement:
CityPlace Expo Center is owned and operated by The Rawlings Foundation. Our organization, Oldham Chamber & Economic Development, does not set the policies of CityPlace and does not use tax dollars to support any organization.
While our offices and resources are housed in CityPlace, our Chamber was invited to be there as a guest at no cost and yet remains a completely autonomous entity. All are welcome to take advantage of Chamber programming, attend Chamber events and join Chamber membership.
The Kentucky Equality Federation and its allies demand the CityPlace Expo Center clearly stated on their website that same-sex marriages are not permitted as well as the religious justification for it.
Palmer continued: “The CityPlace Expo Center cannot claim religious discrimination if they live by the New Testament, and they must unless they are all Jewish (who still, would never discriminate because our people lived together in concentration camps at the hands of the Nazi).
So, by ‘religious justification’ I want to be clear, it is our opinion they may not claim religious freedom if they host weddings to people who are divorced and marrying again (except as outlined in Matthew 19:3-12).
In the New Testament, monitoring and proscribing homosexual activity is not a particular concern of the Bible when compared to the overarching demand for justice, economic equality, and the fair treatment of foreigners, strangers, and caring for the widowed.
As soon as we have someone who will come forward who is divorced and being married again at The CityPlace Expo Center we will challenge the law just as this Federation did with Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban, which we won in Franklin Circuit Court.”