Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Posted by Gordon Smith at 9:22 PM
Jeremy Brett sent me an email from Laurel Scherer that's making the rounds. I've combined it here with a message from their site, All Terrain Images. The website bits are bracketed, and the email bits aren't.
"Virginia and I recently got legally married in Provincetown, Mass. Upon our return to Asheville, we decided to submit our wedding announcement to the Asheville Citizen-Times. Much to our delight, the newspaper readily accepted our announcement and ran it in the Nov. 6th issue. To our knowledge, this was the first same-sex wedding announcement with photo that was run in the AC-T."
"...the owner(s) of Wolf Laurel Slopes, where we had been doing ski and snowboard photography for the past two seasons, did not want us there any longer once they heard about the publication of our announcement. While they initially gave us some reasons that did not hold water, they eventually confirmed that they did not want us there because we are a lesbian couple."
["Just before opening day, the owners of Wolf Laurel Slopes, Orville English and Rick Bussey, informed us that we were not welcome back, despite the excellent service we have provided for the past two years. The owners of Wolf Laurel Slopes have both admitted that one of the reasons they will not have us back is because All Terrain Images, Inc., is owned and operated by a lesbian couple whose wedding announcement was placed in the local Asheville newspaper. We believe this is the only reason for termination of our agreement. Prior to the announcement in the Asheville Citizen-Times, there was never any question that we would return for another season. While we know that many people do not understand or accept same-sex relationships, we believe that it is an injustice to deprive hard-working, competent, professional individuals of their right to work and earn an honest income solely because of their sexual orientation. We never brought our personal relationship into our professional work environment, and it was never an issue before this announcement. In fact, the ownership praised our work, and used (and continue to use) our photos for their own marketing. Furthermore, Mr. English made it clear to us at the end of last season that he was looking forward to our return. We regret that this is not the case, and we thank you for your patronage over the past two ski seasons."]
"And finally, if you disagree with the actions of the Wolf Laurel owners, please let them know by sending a written letter and/or email. If you have the time and inclination, we believe that personalized letters make more of a difference than form letters."
"Wolf Laurel Slopes
P.O. Box 969
Mars Hill, NC 28754
For the following address, include Rick Bussey's name on the envelope:
Mr. Rick Bussey
c/o Scenic Wolf Ridge Resort
104 North Main Street
Weaverville, NC 28787
If you prefer to use email, please send to: firstname.lastname@example.org ."
Laurel includes a link to a form letter.