All Occasion Party Place in Texas Won’t Rent Out Facility to Gay Couples

A couple in Texas planned to hold their wedding reception at the All Occasion Party Place just outside of Fort Worth, Texas, but they were told by the owner that she couldn’t accommodate them.

Because, you know, the couple consists of two men and they would probably get Teh Gey all over the walls:

“It is because of God that I will not be a part in your reception, and I know he loves you, but not what you are doing,” All Occasion Party Place employee Robin Hearne is quoted by the news channel as having written to [Justin] Hudgins in an e-mail. “I simply said I can not rent to you which is also my right.”

The couple, who will tie the knot in Mexico on April 6, say they were “floored” by the encounter.

“It almost felt like a sucker-punch to the face,” [Ben] Allen told NBCNFW. “I thought, in today’s day and age, for someone to deny you simply because you date someone of the same sex, it doesn’t really make sense to me.”

Because the venue is not within the Fort Worth city limits, it’s not subject to the city’s anti-discrimination laws. Which means the owner is going to discriminate because she can. Which just offers more evidence that, when left to their own accord, many Christians are incapable of being kind, decent, civilized, non-judgmental people.

Of course, gluttony is a sin but I’m sure she lets overweight people rent out her hall. And I’m sure she think pre-marital sex is a sin, but I doubt she asks renters about what goes on in their bedrooms. And divorced people celebrating a second marriage? What about atheists — are they allowed to rent out the place? And I’m sure there’s a plank in her own eye, but why remove something that’s irrelevant to her…?

On a side note, I didn’t suggest that owner Robin Hearne was a Christian until the blockquote. But was there really ever any doubt in your mind? It’s takes the love of Jesus to be this much of a bigot.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://IAmDanMarshall.com/ Dan Marshall

    Maybe she should rename the business to “All Occasion Except Gay Stuff Party Place”.

    This lady is a dumbass.

  • Kirby_G

    I just want to ask her one question and have her justify an answer:

    “Do you rent to couples where it is not a first marriage for at least one partner?”

  • Pawel Samson

    Well at least now the guys don’t have to give a bigot money and instead spend it at a gay-friendly place. Win-win, in a way.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      this is what i don’t grok about hater business owners. money is money. isn’t that why you run a business, to make some?

      this owner is going to suffer from this, if it made the local news it’s likely a lot of people are sitting there going “ok, cross this place off the list.” i suppose the xtians will have some churchy campaign to support her, and that might make up for it. but in the long run, she’ll lose out.

      • C Peterson

        I don’t care for the “money is money” approach to doing business. I can respect a business owner who refuses (politely) to serve a customer they might have a problem with (within the boundaries of the law). I’d like to think that if I ran a store selling linens, that I’d refuse service to a KK Klansman who came in for some materials for his hood. I’d like to think that if I owned a gun store, I’d refuse service to someone who seemed suicidal.

        For me, the real problem here isn’t the refusal to offer the service to somebody the owner doesn’t like, it’s the fact that the owner is willing to place an entire class of people into that “don’t like” category for no rational reason at all.

        Fix the god problem, and the business issues simply go away by themselves.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          technically, those are two different examples and you’re proving my point.

          it’s wrong to discriminate and refuse sales to a Klansman if you own a sheet store. his views, however abhorrent, are protected speech. so long as he’s not actually using them to lynch a black man, but just putting one on his stupid head, you should and must take his money. which is awesome! you just took money from a Klansman and made him poorer and you richer. if you feel bad about that, donate it to the SPLC.

          gunz are a different matter, as are suicidal persons. most states have laws that say that teachers, policemen and others have a duty to report anyone who demonstrates dangerous behaviors, including those that are a danger to themselves. our gun laws aren’t strong enough, but the good ones are pretty clear: mental instability of any kind = no gun sales.

          this woman is not selling sheets or gunz. she’s even calling her business as ‘all occasions.’ like another poster said downstairs, she could almost be sued for false advertising and in a fair world she would be. your right to be a bigot ends when you apply for and receive a public DBA license. you’re serving “the public.” not just the ones who love jeebus and hate queers like you do.

          • C Peterson

            I did say that I can respect a businessman for refusing money under some cases… where the law allows it. I think that in most places, a person who owns a business can refuse to do business with somebody simply because he doesn’t like that person’s views. It’s usually only an issue when the reasoning involves some sort of protected class. I don’t think there are many places where I, as a linen store operator, couldn’t throw out somebody for being a Klansman.

            As I said, the real problem here isn’t that gays aren’t a protected class in this business location, but that we have people who irrationally dislike gays at all. And that’s a problem that largely stems from religion. The county could always make homosexuals into a protected class, and then the business would have to serve them. Fine- they should do that. But that’s only a bandaid, an attempt to treat a symptom. The only long term fix is to get rid of the root cause of the hatred and fear to begin with, and that’s religion- particularly Christianity, of course.

            • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

              we already have the law we need. the 14th amd. it just needs to be interpreted by our courts properly, and enforced by our police and legislators.

              this is a sore spot for me and the majority of the queer community. i have no interest in getting married. so marriage “equality” doesn’t help me at all.

              what i want is equal fucking rights. for everyone. all the time. of any flavor. i get so sick and tired of people who get soooo excited that yeah! queers in a dozen states can marry! o happy day!

              meanwhile, i live in TX and can get fired, or not even hired, if i let slip to cowgal business owner that i’m queer. let’s do something about that, shall we? like enforce the Constitution.

              still. i think a Klansman has the same right to buy a sheet from you as i do so he can put it on his stupid head and i can put it in my bed where there will be 3 sexy women/wk. i’ll wash mine regularly, i promise. ;-)

              • C Peterson

                You may argue that a Klansman should have the right to buy a sheet, but it’s quite certain that he doesn’t. Businesses generally do have the right to refuse customers. And to a degree, I think they should, which is why I think we need the concept of protected classes… as awkward as that solution is at times.

                • Alconnolly

                  As you stated, it is complicated, because allowing businesses to discriminate except against protected classes, puts the government into the position of deciding “right thinking”. Oh you did not serve him because he is fat? A okay! What it was because he was gay or black or something else “protected”. We must punish you lawbreaker. What if someone self identifies as gay, but is celibate, his sexual orientation is a state of mind not an action. Refusing him business, would be not due to his actions but disagreeing with his thinking, but if a protected class, the government would be punishing you for refusing business to someone who’s thinking you find abhorrent. I do not know any clean solution, and perhaps protected classes are the best of bad options. But it does put the government in the position of thought police, not a great option.

      • Question Everything

        Well, remember, it is Texas. Gay people are regularly used as scapegoats here, and are almost always misrepresented. This isn’t true in all areas, of course, but it is the trend. DFW area, though, is quite religious and anti-gay in general; I get about 15 churches per grocery store around here, and it’s worse if you compare churches to bookstores or libraries.

        If anything, this may boost business from local folks, sadly.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        but in the long run, she’ll lose out

        Perhaps, but she may not evaluate her community that way. I tend to agree with you, but I don’t think it’s a given, and more importantly, I could imagine a business owner doing a completely financial analysis and coming to her conclusion. Not that that was likely her reasoning mind you.

        • Jayn

          Yeah, the biggest problem is that some people will choose to patronise an establishment BECAUSE they discriminate. This is why the ‘market forces’ idea of letting discrimination in the economy sort itself out doesn’t really work, IMHO. The monetary equation can also turn out in favour of the discrimination (or even just good enough to keep them in buisness).

  • anniewhoo

    The All Occasion Party Place should be sued for false advertising, as clearly they are not for all occasions.

  • Dale

    To me it looks like a very drab reception hall. Why would any self-respecting qay couple want to book it?

    • LiberalElitist

      I thought the same thing. At any rate, the woman will probably receive even more business from bigots because of the publicity.

    • mcmoyer

      I live just about a mile away from it. You are correct, it is very drab and and run down.

  • more compost

    Correct business name:

    All Straight Occasion Party Place

  • Jesusdoppelganger

    The fact that they are not located within a jurisdiction that enforces anti-discrimination laws is unfortunate; but federal civil rights statutes almost certainly pertain. If this organization were a church, they would be permitted to discriminate as they please. Once they enter the marketplace they must abide by the provisions of Title II of the Civil Rights Act.

    • Stev84

      Sexual orientation isn’t covered under federal law. There have been some attempts to cover such things under gender discrimination, but that’s largely untested.

  • Mej

    “gluttony is a sin but I’m sure she lets overweight people rent out her hall”

    I admit I was a little disappointed at the insensitivity of this line. Overweight people aren’t necessarily gluttonous; I think we can be more considerate than to imply that they are.

    • Drew M.

      I’ve been morbidly obese most of my life and attitudes like yours irk me far more than Hemant’s. The vast majority of us are fat because we eat more calories than we burn. That is simple physics and is arguable the definition of gluttony.

      Thanks for being recreationally outraged on my behalf, but no thanks.

      • AxeGrrl

        Drew, just out of curiousity, what “irks” you about suggesting that overweight people aren’t necessarily gluttonous?

        *scratching head*

        • Drew M.

          Why the scare quotes around “irks?” Do you doubt that it irritates me?

          The vast, vast majority of fat people are that way because calories in exceeds calories out (myself included). To take offense because a minority are not gluttonous (an arguable definition of eating more than we burn) is PC claptrap that, IMO, helps enable this country of overweight people. Furthermore, to suggest obesity be elevated to the same significance as our sexuality is insulting.

          Now, I’m not talking about bullying, which needs to be stopped regardless of the reason, but a simple statement like Hemant’s doesn’t even come close.

    • just the facts

      Obesity is purely the result of overconsumption.

      • coyotenose

        You’re very ignorant. Inexcusably so, given the technology available to you.

  • Carmelita Spats

    This is in my area. I’m going to call and ask if they rent their facility to people who are engaging in something Baby Jesus despises: remarriage. Jesus never mentions homosexuality in any of the gospels but he had a lot to say about remarriage. I shall quote the J-Dog to prove my point:

    1. It was also said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a
    certificate of divorce.” But I say to you that every one who divorces
    his wife, except on the grounds of unchastity [porneia], makes her commit adultery [moicheia] and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. [Matt 5:31-32]

    2. And Phariseescame up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who made
    them from the beginning made them male and female and said, “For this
    reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his
    wife, and the two shall become one’? So they are no longer two but one.
    What therefore God has joined together let no man put asunder.” They
    said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of
    divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “For your hardness of
    heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it
    was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for
    unchastity [porneia], and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” [Matthew 19:3-6, Jesus quoted Genesis 2:24]

    3. To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should
    not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or
    else be reconciled to her husband) and that the husband should not
    divorce his wife. [1 Corinthians 7:10-11]

  • Miss_Beara

    “and I know he loves you, but not what you are doing”

    Well, isn’t that special. She knows exactly what god likes and dislikes. She, and many like her, project herself onto this god character so they can say “I am against this, and so is god, therefore I am correct.”

  • Barefoot Bree

    Is Robin Hearne the owner or the employee? Both words are used in different places.

  • pagansister

    Some mentioned below that would it be illegal to refuse to sell a sheet to a KKK member? Do the KKK members advertise that they are members of the “group?” I doubt it. As to this woman who refused to rent a room in her establishment for the wedding reception? She has the legal right to do so, according to the article, because of her location. I remember the days when signs hung in stores, restaurants etc. that said ” We reserve the right to refuse service”. She is living in the far past in her tiny mind. Guess she doesn’t need the money it would have brought in.


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