Boone’s Camp Event Hall in Booneville, Mississippi, has been in hot water since this past weekend after a video clip featuring a worker went viral.
The clip, which made its rounds on Facebook and Twitter before being posted to YouTube, contained a dialogue between a Boone’s Camp Event Hall employee and LaKambria Welch, the husband-to-be’s sister.
“First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race [weddings],” the unnamed event hall employee is heard saying.
When asked by Welch why the venue had that policy, the worker stumbled and cited “our Christian race” before correcting herself to say that she meant “our Christian belief.” Welch went on to explain that both families were Christian and asked if the employee could reference scripture in the Bible that justified this anti-mixed race wedding stance.
“Well, I don’t want to argue my faith,” replied the employee.
Many social media users saw the woman’s confidence in refusing the interracial couple’s business as a direct product of Mississippi’s 2016 House Bill 1523, which made it legal for businesses to deny their services to a customer if providing service would conflict with their religious views.
Shortly after the clip spread to various social media platforms, the event hall issued an apology directly from the unnamed employee seen in the video. However, the entire venue’s account was deleted from Facebook soon after the post was made.
“[After] searching Saturday evening, Saturday night, most of the day Sunday and sitting down with my pastor Sunday night after church I have come to the conclusion that my decision which was based on what I had thought was correct to be supported by The Bible was incorrect! I have, for many years stood firm on my Christian faith not knowing that biracial relationships were NEVER mentioned in The Bible!” claimed the woman in a post from the since-deleted Facebook account.
The City of Booneville also took to Facebook on Monday to make it clear that it does not agree with what occurred in the clip.
Speaking to NBC News on Tuesday, Welch said that she, her brother and his fiancée have accepted the apology, but noted that her sibling will not be patronizing Boone’s Camp Event Hall for his big day.
"I’ve stated that I am a Christian as well," Welch told the outlet. "So, growing up, my grandmother would always tell me to forgive, even without an apology. I’ve always lived by that with everything."