30% OFF Pride collection code: USAPRIDE! Free Shipping over $99

Wedding Planner Goes Out Of Her Way To Tell Couple She Does ‘Not Feel Comfortable’ Helping Them

by The Next Family January 23, 2015




Having been together for four years, Melissa McCord and her partner did not waste time taking advantage of Florida’s marriage equality, marrying on January 10. Still, the Jacksonville mothers of two wanted to plan a nice formal ceremony to share with family and friends and sought out a wedding planner. Lana Rusev of Simply Elegant Wedding Planning wrote back to them that she was already booked for the weekend they wanted, but bothered to add, “Due to my strong personal belief I do not feel comfortable planning a wedding for lesbian couples. I hope you understand and not take this personally.”

Of course, McCord did take it personally. “Just send me an email and let me know you were overbooked,” she told First Coast News. “Don’t throw your belief in my face that you won’t do it because of what we are. My money is just as green as everybody else’s.”

Rusev, however, is standing by her discrimination: “I understand that they may be hurt, but there are other wedding planners who are ok with doing this. Take your business elsewhere.” She also added, “If I hurt anyone I apologize, but that is my personal belief. We all are entitled to our beliefs.”

McCord has found another wedding planner already, and she is also adding Rusev’s business to a list to a Facebook group that tracks businesses that are not friendly to the LGBT community.

Meanwhile, Rusev is taking great umbrage to the backlash she’s facing. On Facebook, she suggested that First News Coast cut some of her remarks, claiming, “I absolutely have nothing against these individuals.” But she also doubled down, asserting, “I am not afraid to stand for what I believe. I will continue to stand my ground and not be bullied. Our Facebook has been swarmed by discriminating comments and negative reviews.”

Indeed, her Facebook page includes negative comments from many people. Contrary to her description of them, however, the only discrimination that took place was when she refused to serve a same-sex couple. The Family Research Council has already come to Rusev’s defense, citing her as another victim of LGBT equality. Same-marriage “sure impacts their family when they’re fined, forced out of business, or lose their home simply for following their moral conscience,” the hate group wrote. Of course, the very laws these discriminating businesses are being fined under are the nondiscrimination protections that ensure LGBT people cannot be fired, evicted, or refused service just because of their identities — a history of actual persecution that is far more substantial.

Jacksonville does not have any such protections; the City Council rejected them in 2012 by a vote of 17-2. This means that McCord and her family have no legal case to make against Rusev.


Article brought to you by ThinkProgress.

The post Wedding Planner Goes Out Of Her Way To Tell Couple She Does ‘Not Feel Comfortable’ Helping Them appeared first on The Next Family.

The Next Family
The Next Family


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Parenting

Modern Fitness For the Modern Parent

by The Next Family March 25, 2016


Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian

By Laura King

Life can get busy. With work, kids, family commitments, friends, chores, and the general chaos of everyday life, it can be near impossible at times to sit down for a cup of tea, let alone squeeze in an hour of exercise regularly. However, all things are possible if you set your mind to them. Those that prioritize their fitness nearly...

Continue Reading →

Estate Planning: The Basics For LGBT Families

by The Next Family March 25, 2016

With the passage of marriage equality last year, laws have been quickly changing across the United States. LGBT couples with or without children weren’t just given the right of marriage, they were provided new protections and benefits within their families. All of a sudden, LGBT couples and families had to figure out how to file jointly when it came to taxes, how to add...

Continue Reading →

Representation of Modern Families in Kid-Friendly Entertainment

by The Next Family March 24, 2016 1 Comment


By Alex Temblador

I recently wrote an article for The Next Family called, “Family-Friendly Films That Feature Adoption and Foster Care,” that shared wonderful family films with adoption or foster care story lines. My reasoning behind doing so was because every family deserves a chance to see similar families like theirs represented in various forms of entertainment.

The same can be said of other...

Continue Reading →