"Gay Marriage" by Pargon / CC BY 2.0

Refusal of Interracial Couple Shows How Slippery the Slope of LGBTQ Refusal Really Is

Sep 12, 2019

By Heron Greensmith

The owner of a Mississippi wedding hall, Donna Russell, made news last week for refusing to provide space for an interracial marriage due to her religious beliefs. Russell was caught on film stating that “First of all, we don’t do gay weddings or mixed race, because of our Christian race—I mean, our Christian belief. . . .” A Facebook post allegedly written by Russell on behalf of the venue, read:

“after searching  . . . and sitting down with my pastor Sunday night after church I have come to the conclusion my decision which was based on what I had thought was correct to be supported by The Bible [sic] was incorrect!”

It took twenty years after the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, banning state laws against interracial marriage, for Mississippi to amend its constitution and remove the amendment prohibiting miscegenation. Loving nullified all state laws in 1967, but Mississippi clerks and courts refused to perform or honor interracial marriages for years after. Even in 1987, a bare majority of 52% of Mississippians voted to remove the language from the state constitution.

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