Mississippi event hall owners refused interracial couple’s wedding citing ‘Christian Beliefs’


Biblical scripture tells of God dividing mankind into nations, races, and languages in divine order. But one venue in northeastern Mississippi is taking that to mean they should stay completely separate.

The owner of Boone’s Camp Event Hall in Booneville, about 45 minutes from the Tennessee border, is making headlines after refusing to allow an interracial couple to hold their wedding in the space.

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Debate over scripture

LaKambria Welch said she drove down to the small town and confronted the owner after her brother, who is Black, and his white wife were told they would not be allowed to hold their wedding there, Newsweek reports. Welch posted a social media video Saturday in which the owner tells her: “First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race — I mean, our Christian beliefs.”

To which Welch replied, “Ok, we’re Christians as well, so what in the Bible tells you that?”

“Well, I don’t want to argue my faith,” the woman interrupts.

The video does not name the individual speaking, but Heavy.com reported, Donna and David Russell are identified as the owners and managers of Boone’s Camp Event Hall, LLC,  according to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website.

Welch told Deep South Voice that she believes the venue searched for her brother and his fiancée on Facebook. When they found images of the couple, the owners decided not to allow the wedding to take place.

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“The owner took a look at my brother’s fiancée’s page and wrote her back to say they won’t be able to get married there because of her beliefs,” Welch told Deep South Voice. “He told my mom and she contacted the owner through messenger to only get a ‘seen’ with no reply. That’s when I took it upon myself to go get clarification on her beliefs.”

Misinterpreted passages

Parts of the Bible have been used to argue that God considers race mixing an abomination, including Deuteronomy 32:8 and Deuteronomy 7:3. Boone’s Camp Event Hall were reportedly making plans with the couple online before turning them away due to “Christian beliefs” based upon Biblical passages such as these.

But after facing backlash over their views, Boone’s Camp Event Hall deleted its Facebook account before restoring it Sunday along with a lengthy apology.

In the now-deleted post, the administrator of the company’s Facebook page described meeting with her pastor and was surprised to learn that there is no specific passage in the Bible that explicitly condemns interracial marriage. It is unclear if the couple will still try to hold their wedding in the event space. Boone’s Camp’s Facebook page was later deleted again.

The mayor of Booneville and the Board of Alderman took to Facebook to ensure citizens that they “do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status,” the status read. “Furthermore, the City of Booneville, Mayor, and Board of Aldermen do not condone or approve these types of discriminatory policies.”