Venue ends ban on same-sex weddings despite beliefs of founder

Luxury venue Stoneridge Estate ends ban on same-sex weddings in on-site chapel
Stuff co.nz 20 May 2017
Family First Comment: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that this venue was starting to be put under pressure…
“We have never not supported same-sex weddings at the property. However, my mother of 80 years old, has held the historic Christian understanding of marriage as the loving, faithful union of a man and a woman … She believes her wedding chapel has been a gift from God and remains true to her convictions in terms of her Christian faith.” However, after Stuff contacted him on Friday, Gore said his mother conceded her views were “not harmonious with the operating [of] a wedding venue”. “As of now, we will amend our venue contracts, which at this time state that due to my mother’s position she prefers the chapel not be used for same sex weddings. He said no one had ever complained about the policy, but “maybe one couple who have enquired [last] weekend were ‘put out’ by my mother’s position”. (our emphasis added)
A perfect example of why the politicians should have allowed for conscientious exemption by venues and celebrants and service providerswhich was supported by NZers

A luxury Queenstown wedding venue is dropping its ban on gay couples marrying in its on-site chapel, with its owner conceding the policy – based on his mum’s religious views – is out of touch.

Stoneridge Estate has hosted nearly 100 same-sex wedding ceremonies and receptions – including one which featured on TV show Married at First Sight – but until now, it’s blocked them from taking place in its chapel.

Same-sex ceremonies have instead taken place in the gardens and lodge.

Owner Wayne Gore says the policy is based on the views of his mother, Da Vella Gore, who holds a lifetime lease over the chapel, which was built in 2004

“We have never not supported same-sex weddings at the property,” he says.”However, my mother of 80 years old, has held the historic Christian understanding of marriage as the loving, faithful union of a man and a woman … She believes her wedding chapel has been a gift from God and remains true to her convictions in terms of her Christian faith.”

However, after Stuff contacted him on Friday, Gore said his mother conceded her views were “not harmonious with the operating [of] a wedding venue”.

“As of now, we will amend our venue contracts, which at this time state that due to my mother’s position she prefers the chapel not be used for same sex weddings.

“She has reconsidered her position … on same-sex weddings in her chapel. She has accepted that Stoneridge Estate has developed a wedding business around the use of the chapel and that it cannot be separated now due to her personal beliefs.”

He said no one had ever complained about the policy, but “maybe one couple who have enquired [last] weekend were ‘put out’ by my mother’s position”.

Stoneridge is a choice destination for Kiwi VIPs, having hosted the wedding of former All Black Ali Williams to Casey Green in 2011, as well as Richie and Gemma McCaw’s honeymoon earlier this year.

In 2016, Lyttelton’s Living Springs venue lifted its ban on gay weddings after a complaint to the Human Rights Commission.

Under the Human Rights Act, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is prohibited. That includes service providers, like those hiring out a venue.

A wedding celebrant, who asked to remain anonymous, said policies against same-sex couples were “an issue in wedding venues across the country”.
READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/weddings/92779010/Luxury-venue-Stoneridge-Estate-ends-ban-on-same-sex-weddings-in-on-site-chapel?cid=app-iPhone

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