Pew Research Center Survey

Following @madebykathryn
A few highlights on the question of service refusal in a revealing study, powered by @SurveyMonkey. Here's the full report. But I'll thread to save speed readers the work.

I came across this tweet put forward by Kathryn Hamm stating the results of the study done by the Pew Research Center and concluding that:

Majority of Wedding Professionals (67%) believe businesses should be required to serve same-sex couples

I think that the stats they used and missing a point here. I'm playing the Devil's advocate here a bit, as we do believe in, and cater to, same sex couples for their weddings in Hawaii,. But, I don't believe that vendors should be "required" to serve same-sex couples.  We all know that the right for LGBTQ couples to be legally married is new, and not without it's controversy, but we can't assume that everyone in the wedding industry has to go along with it. Now, if I was a baker who makes wedding cakes, I wouldn't even see how it's remotely affecting me that I make a cake for a gay couple. But, I do see that ministers and photographers & videographers, who are more closely working with the couple on an emotional and very personal level, should easily be able to politely refuse to provide services for their wedding.


I know a number of photographers who have been photographing weddings for decades, there are also many who are "old school". They have an art to capturing the love between a bride & a groom, they specialize in it, they relish in it, they get off on it even. How, if some of these photographers are "required" to take photos of, let's say, two men kissing, and they really can't get into the excitement of photographing that, should they be mandated to service that couple? I'm not even talking about a religious conviction here, it's a human conviction that the photographers are conditioned, for many years, to get amazing shots of both men and women as they pledge their love to each other. Photographers & videographers should have the option to opt-out of performing services if they don't feel it's in their best interest, they don't feel that their artistic capabilities are best served, of if they just don't feel comfortable with it.


Perhaps surprisingly, a majority of the ministers I know are very happy to preside over same sex weddings. I say this, because when the Hawaii Governor's decision to legalize same-sex marriage came down in 2013, I polled all of our ministers/officiants (about 20) to see if  they wanted to opt-in or opt-out of performing same-sex marriages. Most of them said they would perform gay weddings. A few said that they would not under any circumstances marry gay couples for their Christian stand on the sanctuary of marriage between a man and a woman. Obviously, this was very important for us when scheduling officiants for our couples weddings. We also had to ask couples, especially when it wasn't obvious, if their wedding was a same-sex wedding?  Some couples, who's names were like: Terry, Robin, Francis, Pat, etc. understood why we had to ask them. Some others may have been a little taken-aback.


Most of the Dj's I know, I know about 10 of them, don't have an issue with providing services a same-sex celebrations. Although, if they did, they should not be required to do so.

In Conclusion

Although the study shows that 67% of wedding professionals believe businesses should be required to serve same-sex couples, I do not believe that they realize that you can't just make everyone be required to service same-sex wedding couples.

Kathryn is also co-author of the groundbreaking book, The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Wedding Photography. Follow her on Twitter @madebykathryn.


Popular Posts