Videographer in Brantford refuses to film same sex couple's wedding
Kelly Roberts and Mallory Arthur have been planning their October wedding since January, but they never thought they'd have so much trouble finding a videography studio to film their big day.
Earlier this week, they reached out to Caramount Studios in Brantford, but they were quickly met with an email from the owner, Cara Hamstra, stating that the company does not film "homosexual weddings."
"Thank-you for contacting Caramount Pictures. Congratulations on your engagement, you must be getting so excited :)," the email sent to Roberts and Arthur reads.
"I say this with much care, because I know that your union is incredibly important to you, but we do not film homosexual weddings. Wishing you both good health and peace during these stressful times."
@GailVazOxlade my daughter’s friend just got this homophobic ugliness wrapped up in a pretty bow from @caramountpics . Can you get this out there for the good people of brantford to see (and beyond)? pic.twitter.com/luAiyaXKD8— Sandra Hughes (@SandraSdhughes) July 21, 2020
This rejection came exactly 15 years after Canada legalized same-sex marriage, on July 20, 2005 — making it poignantly clear that homophobia is still alive and well in Canada nonetheless.
Disappointed, and understandably so, Roberts took to Facebook to ask for videography studio suggestions in the Woodstock/London/Brantford area, and she also shared a screenshot of the email.
Now, just one day later, the post has been shared more then 4,000 times, has roughly 1,700 likes, and has garnered more than 1,800 comments.
Roberts and Arthur's story has gone viral, with people from across the country expressing love and support for the couple following their experience with blatant homophobia.
Initially, many encouraged fellow outraged Canadians to leave negative, one-star reviews on the company's Facebook page to communicate the message that this kind of attitude is simply unacceptable in this day and age.
Give Caramount Pictures some publicity😡 https://t.co/QrIacwOpOd— bradleybernie55 (@bradleybernie55) July 21, 2020
The widespread fury also expanded onto other social media platforms, with many pointing out that refusing to film the wedding simply because they are two brides goes against the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The story has been so wide-reaching, in fact, that American celebrity Perez Hilton even tweeted about it.
It's 2020 and gay couples are still being denied service. Wedding photographer Caramount Pictures from Ontario, Canada, should really update their info to say "Heterosexuals only!" pic.twitter.com/I2Z551T7bX— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) July 21, 2020
The company's Facebook page has since been deleted along with their website, and Cara Hamstra did not respond to blogTO's request for comment.
Along with the outpouring of love and support, Roberts and Arthur also received countless recommendations for LGBTQ+-friendly videographers, and they were able to successfully book one for their big day.
On Facebook, the couple said they eventually plan to "compile a list/website/hub of LGBTQ+ owned and/or supportive businesses in the Woodstock and surrounding areas to help couples support businesses with views that align with their own."
"Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to us in the last 24 hours. The outpouring of support from everyone has been overwhelming in the most beautiful way," wrote Arthur and Roberts Tuesday in an update on their original Facebook post.
"It has been amazing to see the recommendations from so many LGBTQ+ and allies-owned businesses. Thanks to your recommendations, we were able to find a videographer to film our big day. I wish we could invite each and every one of you to celebrate with us."
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