We’re queer. We’re here. And, if you’re homophobic, we’re going to come for you on social media. That appears to be the new mantra of Michigan queers after a newly opened wedding venue in Grand Rapids announced via Instagram that they won’t allow same-sex ceremonies in their space.
As Pride Source previously reported, Nick and Hannah Natale, owners of The Broadway Avenue, say serving the LGBTQ+ community would go against their faith in Jesus Christ. (The same man who, incidentally, served up such little nuggets of knowledge such as “that shalt not judge,” and “whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”)
View this post on Instagram
However they decide to mask their homophobia, luckily Grand Rapids does have a human rights ordinance that includes sexual orientation as a protected class. According to Grand Rapids’ FOX 17, the City of Grand Rapids has received multiple complaints against the venue and its discriminatory policy. A spokesperson for the city told the news agency that the city has begun processing the complaints and an investigation will follow.
Meanwhile, reactions on social media have been fast and furious. And relentless!
“Idk about YOUR Jesus but MY Jesus loves everyone,” said Instagram user samanthayaqo. “This is SAD.”
Samanthayaqo was just one of many self-identified Christians who took offense to the Natales’ comments. Instagram user jennagreenawalt said, “As a Christian and an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, I’m deeply saddened by this.” Jennagreenawalt went on to suggest a book the couple should read and a podcast they should check out for a little enlightenment on the subject.
Instagram user Lindsay.cronebetts put it directly: “Quite frankly, you’re not ‘good people’ if you openly discriminate against any couple that isn’t your view of a ‘traditional man and woman.'”
Some apparently didn’t really want to believe it was true. The Instagram account of Fleurology Designs and Events asked for clarity and inquired whether non-Christians or even Atheists could have their weddings at The Broadway Avenue. The venue quickly responded that they could. Devil worshippers are apparently fine. Just no homos!
“All other religions, non religious, races, ethnicities , backgrounds, esthetics, vibes are all welcome,” The Broadway Avenue responded to the post. “The marriage, itself, just needs to be between a man and a woman.”
Instagram user therevelrose suggested that the couple’s alleged embrace of their Christian faith might actually end up turning LGBTQ+ away from God. “I wonder if turning queer couples away from your venue will turn them away from Jesus?” therevelrose wrote to the Natales.
“I’m very curious which words of Jesus you’re using to justify this exclusionary decision,” another Instagram user, jilldevriesphotography, said. “He notably never said queerness was a sin, and consistently befriends and wholeheartedly embraces the most marginalized people in society. As a lifelong Christ follower, your stance strikes me as completely antithetical to his teachings.”
Several expressed that they had watched the venue’s renovations with great anticipation which, now, has only turned to severe disappointment. “I was so excited watching this venue being built for the last couple of years,” said Instagram user lisadrz_. “Just for it to end so ugly and disappointing. I hope you someday soon can understand without judgment that love has no boundaries and does not discriminate.”
Instagram user _laceface_ said much of the same. “I’ve also been following along the whole time and am very disappointed to read this post,” the user said. “I am not gay and am in a Hetero relationship. And when we get to the point where we will need a venue, I do not think I can any longer keep @thebroadwayavenue as a contender.”
Others were even more blunt.
“Oh gross,” said Instagram user la_liaison. “Haha good luck out there in the wild being bigots. Just ain’t a good look these days. The deal [is] God loved everyone. He said it himself in the Bible. I know because I read it.”
Twitter reactions have been on point, as well.
I don’t care a lot about what happens in Grand Rapids however I’m fully invested in the drama with the Broadway Avenue
— steph steph (@sfdmn_) July 12, 2022
girl… imagine calling yourself “The Broadway Avenue” and then disallowing queer weddings lmao https://t.co/VR3hPs3Yvp
— Franco Ramos (@FrancoRamos) July 13, 2022
Amateur website and no interior pictures. Probably not nice enough for the gays anyway. But a lovely quote on the site: “We believe in Jesus and are so blessed by his calling in our lives to start The Broadway Avenue!” https://t.co/yBHj9xB62Z
— Jonathan Kelly (@Jonatha17184634) July 12, 2022
A Grand Rapids wedding venue says it will not allow same sex marriages. The Broadway Avenue just opened two weeks ago and had their grand opening last night. The owners Nick and Hannah Natale say they’re running their business based on their Christian values. @WOODTV pic.twitter.com/RwbnlxEXWC
— Whitney Burney (@WhitneyOnAir) July 11, 2022
imagine typing this many words just to say “no gays allowed” pic.twitter.com/M1ZtlAWLCh
— matt (@mattxiv) July 12, 2022