It came down to a matter of principles for Nang and Chris Mai. More specifically, their Christian principles.
The Novato, California couple surely will win plaudits from Bible believers everywhere for choosing to honor God by closing their photography business rather than shoot same-sex "wedding" ceremonies.
"[W]e have come to a difficult decision that we will no longer be in the wedding photography business," the couple wrote on their website. "We are grateful for this experience as it has caused us to think about how our personal beliefs intersect with our business practices."
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, T.J. Kelsall of San Francisco posted a comment on the company's Facebook page earlier this month, which stated that Urloved Photography had declined to photograph him and his partner, Thai Lam.
The Mais said they referred Kelsall to another photographer who they thought would be more suitable as they personally were not comfortable with agreeing to the request themselves.
Then the firestorm started.
"Great shots, but this company denied me and my fiance, a same-sex couple, from their services," Kelsall wrote on Facebook. "Stand up and say something about it."
Following Kelsall's complaint, the small business was "flooded with hate calls, emails and accusations that inaccurately depict our business," the couple said.
Following the announcement, Kelsall wrote a second post asking friends to stop contacting the Urloved Photography and writing negative reviews and comments on their various online pages.
At the same time, Nang and Chris Mai admitted they did not handle the situation as well as they should have and explained why they decided not to photograph the same-sex wedding:
"One of the reasons we got into the wedding photography business is to share in the joy and love on what is one of the most important days of peoples' lives. Our business vision was to couple an art we love with the beauty of marriage," the couple said in a statement.
"As wedding photographers, we directly take part in capturing a couple's love and commitment for each other. We take the medical doctor stance of if we were emergency room doctors, we would want to give our best to anybody that comes through our door. It is not photographing a couple who have different personal beliefs that we have difficulty with. We genuinely felt referring this couple to a photographer who does share their personal beliefs would provide them with the best service for their special day. We wanted to connect them with someone who did share their personal beliefs so that they could give them the service quality they deserve.
"Unfortunately, our artistic passion for excellence and personal beliefs were misinterpreted. That was never our intent. We have been flooded with hate calls, emails and accusations that inaccurately depict our business. On top of that we have come to a difficult decision that we will no longer be in the wedding photography business. We are grateful for this experience as it has caused us to think about how our personal beliefs intersect with our business practices."
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