Same-Sex Couple Speaks Out After Wedding Videographers Pull Out, Citing 'Beliefs'

Same-Sex Couple Speaks Out After Wedding Videographers Pull Out, Citing 'Beliefs'

A same-sex couple have spoken out to their local news outlets after a pair of Charlottesville-based wedding videographers refused to work with them after learning their sexual orientation.

Paula Fries and Katie Brown spoke to CBS19 about their struggle to find a wedding videographer, saying they landed on Gardenia, a husband and wife wedding team operated by Brett and Alex Sandridge, after watching some of their videos and enjoying their work. Fries and Brown claim they were upfront with anyone who would potentially be working on their wedding about it being same-sex, saying it was “in every email correspondence with vendors.” So, it came as a surprise when, having already been sent a contract and an invoice for a down payment, the couple received a further emailing notifying them that there’d been a change of plans.

The email from Brett Sandridge cancelling Gardenia’s involvement in the wedding read in part:

We have decided that we would not be the best match to film your wedding. We are just really wanting to stay true to our beliefs.

Understandably upset, Brown added that one of the most frustrating parts had been that the couple ceased communication with all of the other potential wedding videographers they had been looking to book after the initial interest from Gardenia. Gardenia’s Facebook page has since been deactivated after a backlash that saw users leaving negative reviews.

Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused a pair of customers for being gay, citing his religious beliefs.

Jack Alexander's picture

A 28-year-old self-taught photographer, Jack Alexander specialises in intimate portraits with musicians, actors, and models.

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God bless you if you can take photos of people and never have to lie. EIther that or maybe you're just the headshot whisperer. LOL Even for the corporate headshots that I've done, people are just so damned self-conscious that it feels like it takes a lot of encouragement and coaxing (yes, false praises) to get them comfortable. Perhaps I just haven't the knack for it...

I explain the purpose behind the photos in a way that's understandable and true. Most photographers don't. I'm not sure most photographers even know the real purpose and it has nothing to do with what they look like. I use comedy and commonality to get them comfortable. Don't roll your eyes! I know you are!! :-)

Sorry, I'm out of my eye roll quota for the month.

I was watching Forged in Fire yesterday with a guy talking about how you wait until the blade becomes the color of the sunset and then you quench it in oil so that it receives it soul or something like that... That used up my last eye roll for July.

I'll hit you up in August when my quota is reset.

My son is interested in blacksmithing as a hobby. Maybe he watches that show.

It's strangely addictive... This is coming from someone that has absolutely zero aptitude for anything involving tools. :P

Oh come on, it's 2018.


I get that but I don't understand the point.

My instinct is to agree with the free market sentiment that is widely expressed; however, legally sanctioned discrimination creates a normative frame, within which discrimination is acceptable.

By way of example, I would remind everyone that it was common in pre-WWII Germany for buinesses to disply signs saying "no Jews".

'Legally sanctioned immoral behavior creates a normative frame, within which immorality is acceptable.' And you guys are enjoying far more success in your endeavor.

If you are going to adopt a word such as "immoral" among an educated audience then you are going to have a very bad day.

Tell me about it! I've had a very bad life! ;-)

Some questions and observations.

First the questions:

Why not just simply provide the service?

If you choose to not provide the service, if it's based on not wanting to serve a same-sex couple, why point that out? Why not just say that you can't without giving a reason?

Why was it NOT important when accepting the job yet suddenly important AFTER accepting the job?

Second, the observations:

I believe that business owners should be able to serve or not serve whomever they please for whatever reason.. Let the market sort it out.

If I were in the market for a videographer, these videographers would not get my business.

100% The photographer should be allowed the right to refuse service to anyone, and if they are bigoted enough to allow their beliefs to affect their bottom line, then more power to them.

As a long time Christian I find this to be quite disturbing. A photography business is not a religious statement. Not is it an extension of the people who run it. It is a service business, established in a place that is not run or governed by religious beliefs. If you want to live in a Christian bubble then join a commune. Otherwise, we as Christians live in a world where people do not believe as we do, and we serve ALL of those people lovingly. Thus, if someone walks into your business and demonstrates a belief system different than a Christian's, we accept that and demonstrate love and do our freaking job to the best of our ability. TO THE BEST of our ability.

Without a doubt this couple has filmed couples who live together, have had sex with multiple partners, formerly divorced for unbiblical reasons, and yet working with this gay couple is suddenly against their beliefs. It's garbage. It's prejudice. And it most certainly is NOT biblical. You don't get to claim "religious beliefs" and then cherry pick which ones offend you and which don't...and even if they do offend you demonstrate love and kindness to those people just as the BIBLE says.

Totally do not agree with you. Homosexuality is a different kind of sin, it stands out. Non other sin is being celebrated. „Celebrate pride”. I would not photograph people that are celebrating their sin. Never. Just think about it....all they do is they commit to a life of sin and you use talents that God gave you to photograph the very act of it. God is not glorified. I want to use my talents for the Glory of God.

You're missing the point in a HUGE way. First off, Jesus LITERALLY celebrated and socialized with major sinners, often which caused religious leaders to accuse him of being one of them. He spent a ton of time with them, performing miracles for them, and they were without a doubt active and boastful about their sin. Tax collectors were notorious criminals, thieves, and widely known to be terrible people, which is why its pointed out in the bible so many times just how often Jesus socialized and spent time with them. He served them, went to their houses, ate meals with them...something that was COMPLETELY against the Jewish beliefs at the time. To this Jesus responded with, "I came for them." As a Christian it is not our job to tell the world to live by Christian beliefs. Paul says this in 1 Cor 5:12 (summarized, its not our job to worry about what the world does, only those who profess to be followers of Christ.)

Secondly, this "celebrate pride" is a phrase used to demonstrate that gay people are humans, and shouldn't hide away. It has nothing to do with celebrating sin, only Christians view it that way because we impose our beliefs onto it. The reason we don't have "celebrate divorce" or "celebrate premarital sex" is because those things have become completely acceptable so no need to hide it away.

Now to your theology of "they commit to a life of sin." False, they didn't commit to anything, according to the bible it is the natural way of man to sin...hence the need for a savior. So, this particular sin isn't some special commitment. Nor is it living a "lifestyle of sin." Nor is it some special sin that makes them even WORSE than everyone else. Every life without Christ is a "lifestyle of sin." Hence, according to your statement, you can now only use the gifts God gave you for people outside believers can experience the gifts God gave you because they're ALL committed to a lifestyle of sin. How can you possibly demonstrate the forgiving and accepting nature of God by saying, "Only Christian beliefs allowed?"

You haven't read the Bible, have you!?

I'll bite once, because I'm pretty sure this is just a troll, but I have studied the bible for a very long time. I now expect some sort of response along the lines of, "go back and study more," or something of that nature, to which I'll be done responding.

Nope. Not a troll. Having studied the Bible for a very long time, I'm sure you understand how difficult it is to address what you see as fundamental ignorance of its message. My response was based on your assertion, "...and they were without a doubt active and boastful about their sin."

The sinners, Jesus associated with, were NOT boastful of their sins. In fact, He told them to not sin any more. Of course they did, as we all do, but "boastful"? No! 1 Cor 5:12 is referring to the world at large and not individuals. The part about telling the world to live by Christian beliefs is complex. You wouldn't tell a non-believer to do XYZ but you would tell them about God and Jesus, not just they exist but really *about* them. Hopefully, living by their new beliefs, which is a life-long process, will come later.

I'm not sure I believe your "Celebrate" explanation. I celebrate the life God gave me but I would never celebrate the fact I'm divorced and it's NOT acceptable to me. A better comparison would be, I don't celebrate losing my temper with people or cutting someone off in traffic. I still have pride in my meager accomplishments but never in my sins.

I agree homosexuality isn't a special sin but most homosexuals are, in fact, committed to their lifestyle. They just are. Again, how many people celebrate taking office supplies from work? You, generally, have to be a "committed" thief to celebrate thievery. I have no problem with the fact people sin. They just do. I don't have a problem with their inability to stop. I have a huge problem with people who won't acknowledge sin is sin. And celebrating sin is right out!

I kinda agree with the rest since it's in response to Alex's pedantic comments.

See? Now, I'm tired. ;-)

Fair enough, and thank you for clarifying youre not a troll.

I want to address two points that seem to be the most prominent.

First point I want to discuss is what you said, "You wouldn't tell a non-believer to do XYZ but you would tell them about God and Jesus." I agree with this 100%, and that really is my entire point. By not serving ALL people we leave one of the most powerful aspects of God off the table, that HE came, HE died, HE sacrificed, and all on OUR behalf. He lowered himself to our level in order to raise us to His. By denying the lost our services, by not engaging with them, we literally push them further away from understanding the message of Christ.

The second point I want to discuss is, "I agree homosexuality isn't a special sin but most are committed to their lifestyle." This summarizes EVERY Christian prior to their coming to Christ. The world is committed to sin, and the Bible is very clear about that. You said, "I Have a huge problem with people who won't acknowledge sin is sin," but what if first, they don't even acknowledge there is such a thing as sin? You see, it would be one thing if people said, "I believe in God and sin, but I don't care I'm doing this sin." I would absolutely be onboard with saying, I can't serve you in any capacity. However, that's not the case, what we're seeing is people saying "I don't believe in the Bible or God." This leaves them without the understanding of sin, which is a very different case. In both cases people need to understand God, and see His divine holiness, but how we approach them is wildly different. In the first case we need to make a stand for God, but in the second we need to connect and demonstrate the love of God so that they can see who He is...then and only then can we begin to address what sin is, how it affects us and the world, and our need for Christ.

Appreciate the time you took to respond to me, hope you got good rest. :)

Ok, let me comment a bit. I recommend we stick to the Bible while doing it.

1. "First off, Jesus LITERALLY celebrated and socialized with major sinners...". What did Jesus celebrate? Did he encourage and celebrated their sin? Or did He spend time with them to save them from their sins and show they the righteous way wanting to bring them to God? The Gospel of John chapter 8 tells a story of a prostitute that was about to be stoned to death. Jesus saved her, however He was very clear about her sin, He did not celebrate them. " Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” - John 8:10-11. FROM NOW ON SIN NO MORE. Jesus Christ was with sinners all the time to save them from their sins, not to celebrate them. We should be part of this world and should show love and friendship to people, straight or gay, but we should be clear about their sins. We should not condemn people, but we should not pretend as if everything is OK. It is not OK to marry a gay person, it is sin. Would Jesus bless such a union and said...I now call you a husband and wife?

2. Celebrate Pride. This is one of the biggest offence to the most beautiful thing that God created. No, it is not about saying that gay people are also people. Sure they are, same people as not gay people. I have gay friends and I love them and respect them, as people. I completely do not agree with what they do and this is against God. Celebrate Pride and the whole LGBTZXCVTREDSA movement is about changing the society the way we know it. They legalise gay marriages, they encourage children to change their changer, they want to eliminate the meaning of gender, etc. It has far more reaching consequences that just being a human being.

Let me remind you what God says: "He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” - Mt 19:4–6

Marriage is a union of one man and one woman. There is nothing else in the Bible.

3. There is something else. The reason why people do it is because they follow their lust and they do not want to worship God. The only god they want to worship is "self".

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Romans 1:18–32

I'm taking a new survey. Since you base your morality on the Bible, do you also feel that slavery should be allowed? God is ok with it in the Bible:

Leviticus 25:44-46
The Lord said unto Moses at Sinai..."'Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

A simple yes/no answer will suffice. So far I have 1 person in favor of slavery, 0 against.

When and why it was written? Do not take things out of the context.

I gave you the verse. I assume you have a Bible to look it up if you wish. In Leviticus, God tells Moses that the Israelites can buy slaves from other nations. You can give them to your children and make them slaves for life, according to God.

So answer the question: are you accepting of slavery or not?

I would if I was living at the days of Moses because this was the normal thing in the society back then. What is your point? Are you trying to say that Bible should not be literally followed? No matter what you is going to say (taken out of the context) I am going to live every word of it as much as I can because I love God and want to follow Him.

Personally I think the Bible is a pretty garbage way to dictate morality. Your God is perfectly fine with you owning another human being, and I don't agree with slavery.

But I was asking your opinion on slavery for my survey. I'll put you down for a "maybe."

You've actually made my point for me, however. You argued is that just because something was morally acceptable to a superstitious ancient tribal society does not mean it pertains to how modern society should act today. Like gay marriage, for instance!

alex ,the problem with people like you and your way of thinking is that you do not allow anyone to have any opinion no matter what , unless its YOUR opinion./ Cant you see the damage you are doing to your faith ? Every single time a heated argument happens , , people like you become these "monsters" , devoid of feeling , rational human feelings and do you think anyone will want to have anything to do with a faith that is so hateful ? So devoid of compassion and you know what , if you had a rock solid and strong belief , you would be happy and secure enough in your faith that you would be able to be empathetic , human and maybe even nice to anyone who has different views than yours.. I respect that you have the right to belief in what you want , but YOU will not allow anyone the same respect. You are seriously not been a christian and upholding its core values. LOVE , UNDERSTANDING , AND COMPASSION .

and what do you know of true Christian values? What is love in your understanding?

Empathy , understanding , learning , Love means I need to constantly Evolve and try and better myself. Love is sacrifice and supporting others , Love is allowing someone to have the freedom to learn and always be there to pick them up when they fall. Love is so many things to me ,Love allows me check my decriminalization and fear based hared and do something about it. Love changes me , and others I have Human VALUES and loads of love.Love iblinds me , and could almost be said to be a type of madness.. Love is endless and always given and graciously accepted when received. Love is more than words can describe

It seems that many Christians think that they certain "types" of people do not deserve any Christian values , and deserve nothing but hate . God , Jesus , the creator call him what ever you need to , he / she has a great sense of humor , and believe me on this , its people like you who land up having children that are gay ,To make you face your hatred and hopely teach you a lesson about .. LOVE ./ Those gay children are made by God , and god dosnt create rubbish or rejects , Who are you to try and even question what he has created . And do not even think about trying to compare Gay people to murders and killers , Did you read my post about Gods animals , and insects and birds and reptiles , There are now scientific papers and observation and acceptance that Homosexuality has its place in the world , and the animal kingdom . But are we not better than animals ? No i dont think so , at least animals accept their gay neighbors and get on with thier own lives.

Love ,, think about that word , Because thats essentially what the Christian faith is about .. LOVE .. not your self righteousness and denial of anything beyond your understanding .

One thing that is worth mentioning. Love in the Biblical sense (agape) is always connected to the ultimate truth. Also...God is love, not love is God. God defines love and this is truth. To love means to live by God’s commandements and submit to His version of the truth.

Dont you go Hogging words and hording them now.. DID you know BIBLE has the hidden word LIE in it .. Take that to your kabbalah

In every language, I am sure:-)

Look , you are a a relatively intelligent guy, you can string a whole sentence together without drooling , and i have actually seen you be nice and respectful to another person . Hey , look , if you want to be a dick , go for it ,
Have you ever played broken telephone , we used to play it at school , a message was whispered in one persons ear , and the message was whispered into the next kids ear until it went all the waay around the circle.. If i could give you some advice , DO NOT ALLOW THIS GAME TO BE PLAYED AT CHURCH. You see , i always wondered how the bible was written , , who wrote it , who edited it , and when , and who did the translations .. I TOLD you they should never have played that game at church camp. . And that whole "The earth is the centre of the universe and everything revolves around it , and we will burn you at the whiches barbaque if you say otherwise" ohh hum

I listed out a TON of stuff in response but deleted it. I'll keep this much shorter.

Paul tells us to not be concerned with the actions of the world, but to ONLY concern ourselves with Christians in 1 Cor 5:12. So that right there negates nearly ALL of what you just typed. Either address that as it is, or just stop.

Also for reference, NO WHERE in the bible does it say that the lost, aka the world, should be living biblically. Why? Because living a biblical life without Christ does nothing. In fact, Matt 7:23 addresses these people saying Christ doesn't even recognize them.

Holding the world to a Christian standard does NOTHING to glorify God, which is why, again, Paul says don't do it in 1 Cor 5:12.

That being said, and understanding that Christian standards of living are only applicable and God glorifying when Christ is at the center (aka a saved person), there's suddenly NO REASON why a Christian photog cannot shoot a gay wedding.

Also, going back to your line of reasoning, Christians in any form of service type business should ONLY serve other Christians. I say this because as the bible says, the world is lost...THE...WORLD, which means EVERYBODY (Rom 3:23 and Rom 8:8). Your own opinions of which sins are worse has no place in this convo, because it is solely up to the Bible to tell us how God views sin. And, the Bible clearly states that sin whether flagrant, hidden, unknown, known, none of it matters because it is ALL the same to God. Without the acceptance of Christ, his sacrifice, and repentance, all actions fall under the same umbrella...for all have sinned.

Union of two gay people is not marriage in the Bible. Agree? Union of two gay people is a sin in the Bible. Agree? God hates sin. Agree? Photographing gay marriage is photographing a sinful act.

Last response from me until you address 1 Cor 5:21.

Photographing ANY couple that joins together in Marriage without God as the center and the focal point is a sin. Agree? In fact, all acts without God as the focal point are sin. Therefore, photographing ANY non-Christian couple is photographing a sinful act.

Do not agree. A marriage of a man and a woman, even unbelievers, is a valid marriage in God’s design. They will go to hell if they are not saved, their life might be miserable if they are not able to show true love and faithfulness, but their marriage is still a valid marriage. Homosexual marriage is violating Gods design and is not a marriage because marriage is a union of one man and one woman, nothing else.

Btw, no such thing as 1 Cor 5:21

sigh...1 Cor 5:12 (obvious typo), and I never said God didn't validate their marriage. I said, ANY act without God at the center is sin...take that and apply it to what I said before

I said nothing of the sort .. Ohh that other guy Paul .. My Mistake ..:-)

So should the onus be on the couple to point out that they’re gay upfront or the business advertise that they only work with straight couples? This is where a consultation matters and you both decide if you’re a good fit to work together not after you have a contract. Also, if it’s ok to accept that people can discriminate against someone’s sexuality then it’s ok for ppl to lose business due to their religious beliefs. Neither is right but i digress

This is were manners come in and respect for other people , They should have just sent a small note " thanks we have gone with another photographer " no explanation was needed . Short and sweet , everyone wins

Or they could have just refused the job in the first place since it was pretty obvious right from the start that the couple was gay. If it was going to be a problem, why take the job and then cancel afterward?

Totally do not agree with you. Homosexuality is a different kind of sin, it stands out. Non other sin is being celebrated. „Celebrate pride”. I would not photograph people that are celebrating their sin. Never. Just think about it....all they do is they commit to a life of sin and you use talents that God gave you to photograph the very act of it. God is not glorified. I want to use my talents for the Glory of God.

Stop cherrypicking what you think is a different kind of sin. That's the problem with people using their so-called beliefs against people. I guess you don't do engagement sessions for couples who live together before marriage or had sex before too? Would this apply to shooting a wedding for a couple with a kid out of wedlock?

Alex - You need to read your little book a bit more. your own fears are getting in the way of your humanity. No one is asking you to marry the gay folk , you dont even have to touch them , BUT good lord , you are not going to just blurt out your vicious and uneducated and unemathetic beliefs . I do not agree with some religeons going to mass on a friday , BUT do you see me jumping up and down , saying " WOE UNTO YOU ALL , I HAVE A RIGHT TO WHAT I BELIEVE IN < SO EVERYONE ELSE MUST KNOW THAT " .. Dude , be polite , be respectful , be human , and maybe just maybe you will find that , you might have obeyed a Commandment in your book..

Let me reiterate a very simple message that I wanted to pass. Union of a homosexual couple is not a family. Not in the Bible. That is all I wanted to say. I would not photograph a wedding that is not a union of a man and a woman. There is nothing else in what I said, just this.

I don’t shoot weddings where the bride is wearing a dress woven with more than one fabric, because it too is forbidden in the Bible. Sounds stupid, right? That’s because it is. Cherry picking morality from a book written by a primitive society controlled by their irrational fears of an invisible being is stupid.

My opinion is that the Bible is a collection of superstitious nonsense from an ancient backwards tribe in the Middle East. You’re free to have your own thoughts on this, but I fervently believe that anyone who bases their morality on this mysticism is an illogical fool.

These are my beliefs. Please respect my ability to have them and allow them to dictate my actions in society. Just like religious people who allow their beliefs to affect how they purport themselves in public conversations.

I respect them but tell me, what should people base their morality on? If on their own opinions, morality is subjective and, therefore, meaningless. If each society were to vote on it, it would be law and not morality. No, I'm afraid, without God, morality is meaningless, which, I believe is the goal of a humanistic, progressive society.

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