When an Ontario photographer refused her service to a same-sex couple on the grounds that she doesn’t “film homosexual weddings,” she quickly learned what it means to be “canceled” in today’s culture. With a few keystrokes, LGBTQ allies and advocates brought down Caramount Pictures’ ratings and, ultimately, her entire website. Read on for the full story.
Ontario Photographer Refuses Same-Sex Couple
After denying a same-sex couple, photographer Cara Hamstra of Caramount Pictures, quickly learned- and one would argue rightfully so- exactly what “cancel culture” can do to a business.
Kelly Roberts and her fiancee reached out to Hamstra to inquire about hiring her to film their wedding. When Hamstra responded with an stating “we do not film homosexual weddings.” they immediately made everything public.
Elayna Holm-Laursen, a relative of Kelly Roberts said.
No one should be refused a service because of sexual orientation, race or other. I feel that this is disgusting of a company that celebrates love between people to be prejudiced because she is not marrying a man. I see this kind of behaviour daily on the internet, it just hit home when it happened to someone who is a part of my family.
After about 22 hours, the post exploded with comments and impressions. People pitching in together managed to take Caramount Studio’s rating all the way down to 1.0.
On Twitter, Kirsten Moore-Towers, said.
Please do not hire them for your photography.
Soon after, Hamstra took down her website and Facebook page. Reporters discovered other couples received the same message. Justiss Anderson and Symone Roberts, for example, were denied last year just for being LGBT.
We were a little shocked by that but didn’t really think anything of it up until we had seen how many other people that they’ve done this to. People need to know about it. Businesses like that need to be called out, they need to be questioned why they don’t accept certain people. I definitely think it’s good that it’s finally out there.
“Even if they wanted to decline, why tell that couple why you’re declining?”
Another local photographer, Amber-Lyn Farrington and who identified herself a pansexual, made an excellent point when she said:
Even if they wanted to decline, why tell that couple why you’re declining? You could make up any reason under the sun, you can say you’re not available, but they intentionally wanted to let this couple know that they don’t approve of them.
And then added.
If you’re a gay/queer couple and feel like making some noise around this or just celebrating your beautiful perfect love — I’d like to offer you a free photo session.
Interesting, Ontario prohibits any form of discrimination, and that includes wedding photographers and videographers.
In Ontario, all persons are meant to be free from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and that includes that service providers don’t have the ability to refuse people based on their sexual orientation, despite how the owners or people who are providing the service feel about that.
Basically, if the refused couples filed a complaint with the human rights tribunal, they have a strong chance of winning.
It’s assumed that discriminatory actions cause a discriminatory feeling towards people as a loss of dignity in terms of having your rights discriminated against.
So far, Hamstra has refused to talk to reporters.