Amid the news of religious discrimination cases involving cakes, photographers, and pizza comes word that LGBT people have one less choice when it comes to hiring a disc jockey in Maryland.
A DJ in Montgomery County refused a booking for a birthday party hosted by gay men, according to the The Washington Post.
The sister of one of the hosts, Tom Tsakounis, reportedly tried to book Ultrasound Deejays for a party that her brother and his partner were throwing for their 60-year-old roommate. Dani Tsakounis tells the Post one of the owners of the business, Michael Lampiris, refused the booking, citing religious objections.
Tsakounis has filed a complaint with the Montgomery County Human Rights Commission.
Maryland state law bans public accommodations discrimination based on sexual orientation. The law forbids discrimination by businesses offering goods, services, or entertainment.
This law has been on the books since 2001, but Lampiris says he didn't know about it. "We don't want to go against the law, but we also sometimes are called to do that if it goes against your faith," he said. "To me it would be like a synagogue having to cater a Neo-Nazi party or black DJ having to do a KKK dance. It's a conscience thing, and conscience is important for everybody. In fact, I think it is the most important thing."
"It made me feel like I got hit in the stomach," Tsakounis told the Post. "You feel like, 'C'mon, in my neighborhood?' But, wow, yes -- in my neighborhood." Montgomery County, a suburban area near Washington, DC, is known for being a liberal enclave.
Lampiris's company has a formal written policy stating it is a "family friendly" business that will not play "vulgar" music, allow provocative dancing, or work with fortune tellers, strippers, or magicians. "We will not be involved in any event involving homosexual celebration or activity. We follow biblical morality," the policy states.