Reporting Mike Schuh
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Same-sex weddings begin in Maryland in just four days, and an Annapolis man is so upset with the new law he’s giving up $50,000 worth of business.
As Mike Schuh reports, his beliefs are causing him to stop selling his services to heterosexual couples as well.
The Discover Annapolis trolley doesn’t just haul tourists, it does a good business with wedding parties as well– but no more.
Operator Matt Grubbs has announced that he won’t do business with same-sex couples on religious grounds, and because such discrimination would be illegal, he’s decided to give up weddings altogether with mixed reactions from tourists.
“Well, he stands for his beliefs,” said one woman.
“He might change his mind later on,” said another man.
Grubbs isn’t doing interviews, but Derek McCoy of the anti-gay marriage group Maryland Marriage Alliance calls this an unintended consequence.
“These are the things that’s gonna happen. When you change the natural definition of marriage there are consequences to it,” said McCoy.
McCoy also said there is not a parallel between Grubbs and a wedding photographer or a limo operator who denies service to people based on their race.
“We’re not talking about racial discrimination that divides the races. We’re talking about a natural concept of marriage that brings together the sexes,” said McCoy.
Other states have had similar debates. Innkeepers in Vermont who refused to host a same-sex wedding were sued and forced to settle. Meanwhile, in St. Mary’s County, the circuit court clerk will not require deputies who object to perform same-sex marriages. Statewide, the court system has no policy on how to handle such objections.
Anti-same-sex marriage advocates say they’ll seek new legislative protections in Annapolis for business owners like the trolley operator.