Las Vegas, NV — Two Las Vegas wedding chapels are getting scrutinized by the American Civil Liberties Union soon after allegations they are refusing to execute marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.
The ACLU is also searching into related claims in North Carolina and Idaho.
The Las Vegas two chapels in question are Vegas Wed and The Elvis Wedding Chapel. Action News spoke to ministers from each.
“It is so clear in the Bible that marriage is between one particular man and 1 lady,” said Dolly DeLeon, who runs Vegas Wed. That is why she mentioned she will not be performing any marriage ceremonies for very same-sex couples.
“The Old Testament and the New Testament spells it out. It is wrong,” mentioned DeLeon, an ordained minister.
Whilst DeLeon mentioned she hasn’t turned anybody away considering that Nevada struck down its gay marriage ban, she’s firm that she will not execute the ceremonies and is ready to either close her doors or take the misdemeanor violation for not performing it.
DeLeon said gay individuals deserve the exact same civil liberties as heterosexual couples, but not marriage, because it is a religious institution. Ideally, DeLeon said she would like to refer these couples to LGBT-friendly chapels in the Las Vegas location, or even permit other ministers to execute the ceremonies in her chapel and donate any proceeds she earns from renting it out to organizations that “support family values and the sanctity of marriage.”
“Men and women will contact us haters, intolerant bigots, and that is not accurate,” she said.
Dolly DeLeon is not the only organization owner in town with that strategy. David Nye runs The Elvis Wedding Chapel he’s also the topic of the ACLU investigation.
“I’ve been asked to participate in something I don’t approve of, and not just asked, but told that it is the law and I must do it. This is America,” he told Action News in a phone interview.
But simply because neither enterprise owner runs a nonprofit religious organization, the law says they should accommodate any person and everybody wanting services.
“If you’re open to organization, you are open to all,” said Tod Story, Executive Director of ACLU Nevada.
That is why the ACLU is seeking into the allegations not just in Las Vegas, but also in Idaho and North Carolina. “In the other states there was a single wedding chapel refusing as well, and in the other it was government officials refusing to conduct ceremonies,” Story stated.
But for these two ministers, the law is not on their side. “I hope men and women recognize,” Nye said. “We are truly stuck amongst a rock and a difficult location in a religious struggle.”