Nobody talks about forcing ministers to celebrate same-sex marriages: but you can’t style the marriage of a same-sex couple? What part of the Bible is this in? Maybe local hairstylist Abby Hartsell (Instagram @hairbyabbyhartsell) can tell us, since last week she declined to work with Nick Kuhl and Rich Latuska in their upcoming nuptials.
Hartsell was a 2019 pick for Best of Weddings by The knot – whose web banner currently features same-sex couples! (Like an FYI, their Instagram is @theknotpro, and their Couples Services team can be reached here).
Gay couple currently featured on The Knot
Nick Kuhl and Rich Latuska
Kuhl told O&AN, “Rich and I met about six years ago – I was an undergrad at Vanderbilt at the time and he was a medical student at Vanderbilt. Rich had just graduated and I was starting the discharge process, so it’s safe to say that we’re both in a very different place now.Currently, I’m in my final year of medical school at Vanderbilt, and Rich works as a doctor in the emergency department from Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
These guys are a serious, professional couple who are so clearly in love. “Rich and I are getting married in Nashville on May 18, 2019. We’ve been engaged for a while, so we’re at the stage of the planning process where we’re starting to work out the details and the little details (kudos to our amazing wedding planner , Bruce Pittman, for keeping us in line).”
Nick Kuhl and Rich Latuska
“Our mothers, my grandmothers and the women on both sides of the wedding party said they wanted to have their hair and makeup professionally done for the big day,” Kuhl added. “With Bruce’s help, Rich and I began contacting local hair/makeup vendors.”
And that brings us to Abby Hartsell. “Our sisters also reached out to other sellers on Instagram. Rich’s sister, Lauren, was actually the person who reached out to Abby Hartsell on her business Instagram account and had the conversation that is now circulating in the Nashville community.”
“Lauren first asked Abby if she was available for hair/makeup on May 18. Abby said yes and directed Lauren to her website for pricing information. Lauren then provided additional information on the wedding (including the fact that it’s a gay wedding), to which Abby replied, “Actually, I don’t do gay weddings,” then offered to give Lauren references.”
“Lauren was shocked by this response,” Kuhl said, “and ultimately didn’t bother to respond, so we never received information about Abby’s credentials.”
Kuhl understands that, yes, his family members can go to other hairdressers — and of course, their family will. But in his eyes, harm is still being done. “I personally respect Abby for offering to provide references to other stylists who are not as discriminatory on the basis of sexual orientation, and we thank her for doing so. a thing to the right. However, Abby [offering] the references do [mitigate] the fact that she runs a company that blatantly (and, frustratingly, legally) discriminates against the LGBTQ+ community in the services she provides.”
Unlike other providers who have recently refused to serve LGBT couples and their families, Hartsell does not explicitly state on its website that it will not. And while his social media posts demonstrate a Christian commitment, it does not – despite the law – indicate an anti-gay stance. Of course, many Christians are LGBT or allied.
In fact, the language of some of his messages would lend itself to a tolerant attitude. For example, in one article, Hartsell wrote, “Hearts matter. People matter. And YOU matter to God. (God. Not the Christians/Churches that drove you crazy. Or a bad experience. They’re humans too !)” (POST EMBEDDED BELOW) So this couple and their family really couldn’t have anticipated the denial of service.
With the State General Assembly currently rushing through a ‘hate list’ designed to enshrine anti-LGBT discrimination as the right of the right, events like these remind us that, even in liberal enclaves like Nashville, there are those who will use these rights to give LGBT people the status of second-class citizens.
Other businesses that have recently refused LGBT customers include those featured in The Rhinestone Wedding Chapel Refuses Same-Sex Marriages and Susie’s Sweets Refuses to Serve Gay Couples.
See this post on Instagram
It’s official!! ✨ I’m so excited to share that I’m one of @theknotpro’s #bestofweddings2019 winners!! ? It’s my first year with the Knot and my first win, so I’m a happy girl here!! To each of my brides (and their families!) who chose #hairbyabbyhartsell as their wedding day stylist, a huge “THANK YOU” for allowing me to be a part of your big day and creating this little Whimsical GIF! ? • Thanks to you and the platform provided by #theknot, I was able to travel to beautiful places, witness such special moments with family and friends, and honestly meet some really cool people!!! You are way cooler than you think!! Lol • And not removing a Pam from the office, but honestly the credit goes to God. He created marriage, he created every ounce of creativity (both are needed for wedding hair! Lol) and he created you and me with one purpose and one platform. It happens to be mine. • Hairstyles wash out. Hair doesn’t act the way you would like sometimes. It is temporary. Your value and my value are not there! You are called “beautiful” and “beloved” by God. “Who does not look outward (like humans) but into the heart.” He sees serious things and has always sent Jesus. The True Husband. Hearts matter. People matter. And YOU matter to God. (God. Not the Christians/Churches that drove you crazy. Or a bad experience. They’re humans too!) • But anyway if you’re still reading this, go for it!! Lol If you have any questions / or even want to say “..girl stop..” send me a message! I would like to speak ! ? • Seriously thanks a lot guys! ? Here’s to a new year of weddings and love! ? **these are my personal opinions and do not represent the opinions of TheKnot.com or their affiliations** Yay!!!!! ✨??