Screenshot of FOX4 News video
A chef in Dallas is allegedly refusing to cater a gay couple’s wedding.
Daren Merchant and Rick O’Connor have been together for 24 years and, now that same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S. following the Supreme Court’s decision on June 26, are planning their wedding.
The couple hoped to get married at the Hilton Garden Inn in Richardson, Texas, on January 1, 2016. However, Merchant’s daughter, who works at the hotel, said she overheard the chef talking about her father and his partner.
“The chef was refusing to do the dinner for the reception. He had major issues with us being a gay couple,” Merchant told local FOX affiliate FOX4 News. “About us having the right to be married, about it creating the apocalypse, about it causing all sorts of other issues, comparing us to Caitlyn Jenner.”
Hilton’s corporate office in Dallas reached out to the couple to clear the air. “We understand that this situation has caused extensive grief and stress for the guest, and the LGBT community,” the hotel company said in a statement. “We welcome everyone to our hotel, and emphasize that we have zero tolerance for any discrimination of guests or staff members.” The statement also noted that they were not able to “substantiate the alleged comments that were made.”
Merchant and O’Connor told FOX4 News that they are unsure if they want to carry out plans to get married at the hotel.