A Baltimore trolley tour company, owned by devout Christians, will abandon its lucrative wedding business when same-sex “marriage” becomes legal in Maryland next week. Discover Annapolis Tours will avoid continue tours, but no longer will offer wedding services. The owners will forgo $50,000 in annual revenue rather than compromise on their principles and their faith. According to the Maryland Wedding Professionals Association, this is the second vendor to refuse to serve same-sex “marriages.”
Matt Grubbs, owner of the business, said this in an email to a man asking about wedding services:
…we used to do weddings until recently. But we’re a Christian-owned business, and we are not able to lend support to gay marriages. And as a public accommodation, we cannot discriminate between gay or straight couples, so we had to stop doing all wedding transportation.
In the email, Grubbs also suggested that Marylanders contact their legislators to:
…request they amend the new marriage law to allow an exemption for religious conviction for the layperson in the pew. The law exempts my minister from doing same-sex weddings, and the Knights of Columbus don’t have to rent out their hall for a gay wedding reception, but somehow my religious convictions don’t count for anything.
This problem is quite similar to what we are seeing with HHS mandate lawsuits and government response. Purely religious organizations (the parish church, for example) are exempt. Non-profits with religious connections are being considered for exemption. But secular businessmen are told that they cannot practice their faith in public.