Lesbian couple says SC wedding venue turned them away

A lesbian couple believes a South Carolina wedding venue turned them away because of their sexual orientation.

Aubry McMahon and Jacylyn Foreman are starting a life together. The couple says they're soon to be engaged and searching for wedding venues.

The couple says their search has turned up disappointment after they made a call to the Ivy Place in Lancaster, SC.

"My first question was ‘do you accommodate LGBT couples’ and he took a second and said ‘we've never done one,” Foreman told FOX 46.

Ivy Place is a farm that hosts weddings, but the couple says the owner wouldn't commit to hosting a lesbian wedding.

"He said I’d have to talk to my wife about it and hung up."

They tried to follow up.

"I decided to call him back. No one picked up. Called him back two more times after that and each time no one picked up."

They suspect they've been turned away because they're lesbians. 

"It's frustrating and like I said, sucks the joy out of it."

FOX 46 went to Ivy Place to receive an official response.The entrance was gated off so FOX 46 left several voicemails with the owner, Terry Graham, who is a Lancaster County councilman. 

Graham didn't respond to multiple phone calls and text messages. Board of Elections records indicate that Ivy Place is his residence. 


FOX 46 spotted a vehicle at the main house, but no one greeted us. After 24 hours, we and tried again. Still, no response. We even reached out to the government center, where Graham’s secretary said she'd deliver the messag,e but we've yet to hear back.

The ACLU says South Carolina does not have specific language to include LGBT people in their public accommodations statutes.

South Carolina, like North Carolina, is one of 30 states in the country without this language.

"Our position is the government should not be coming into our homes and our businesses and really telling us how to conduct our business,” said Jim Quick with the North Carolina Values Coalition.

Quick believes mandating businesses to accommodate the LGBT community would infringe on religious rights.

"So, it's not something that they just go to church on Sunday and sort of put it on the shelf," Quick said. 
"It's understandable but it's disappointing,” said Foreman.

Foreman and McMahon are well aware their relationship may not sit well with certain people.

"All you're trying to do is just what any other couple would do,” McMahon said.

But they're sharing their story, simply to share their point of view.

“I understand it's not everyone's cup of tea but all we're asking is just a place where we can get married,” Foreman said.