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Marriage Equality

Videographer Refuses to Film Ohio Same-Sex Wedding

Videographer Refuses to Film Ohio Same-Sex Wedding


A lesbian couple say a videographer denied them services due to their sexual orientation.


A lesbian couple in Ohio are accusing a videographer of LGBT discrimination.

Jerra Kincely and Jenn Moffitt contacted a production company based in Bexley, Ohio, to inquire about filming their upcoming nuptials.

But they were surprised by an email response from the owner of the business, called Next Door Stories, which rejected their request.

"Unfortunately at this time I do not offer services for same-sex weddings," read the email from owner Courtney Schmackers, which was forwarded to CNN by the couple.

"I couldn't believe it," Moffitt told CNN. "It is a small business, and I thought this was a tight-knit community. We wanted to support local commerce, and to get that kind of response was astounding."

The community, however, has rallied in support of the lesbian couple. After being alerted to the incident by Moffitt and Kincely, the Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce has vowed to revise its discrimination policy to prohibit members "from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender expression, age, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or military status."

"The Chamber Board believes that discrimination in any form is wrong and should not be tolerated," the board wrote in a letter that was posted to Facebook. "As we revise this policy, we plan to seek input from our membership as well. We hope to have these new policies in place very soon."

The mayor of Bexley, Ben Kessler, also released a statement on Facebook expressing his concern about the alleged denial of services based on secual orientation. He stressed that Bexley is "a community that embraces diversity and welcomes businesses, families and individuals of ALL sexual orientation, race, religion, age, nationality, ethnicity, disabilities, socio-economic levels, etc. As an employer and a provider of services to our residents, we extend that same openness and inclusivity."

However, he added that the city has no authority over the the Chamber of Commerce, which is a private entity. But he welcomed dialogue and feedback from the community.

Bexley residents expressed their own support on social media, offering suggestions of LGBT-friendly videography services, congratulations to the couple on their engagement, and disappointment in the email from Next Door Stories.

Same-sex marriage is currently not legally recognized in Ohio.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.