Photography company refuses to take wedding photos for gay Laval couple
Published Saturday, February 4, 2017 7:35PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 4, 2017 7:42PM EST
After shopping around, Mike Cerantola and his fiancé Victor thought they’d finally found the perfect photographer for their November wedding.
Cerantola contacted local photography company Premiere Productions to set up a meeting. Things started off fine, until the photographer asked for details about his bride.
“I mentioned that there’s only going to be one house since we already live with each other and I said there is no bride. We're two guys.”
The photographer responded by email.
"I regret that I cannot take this wedding because it is at odds with my personal religious beliefs," he wrote.
Cerantola couldn’t believe what he was reading.
“I was a little shocked to hear that and this kind of thing has never happened to me before,” he said.
According to the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) the photographer’s response is illegal.
“You cannot discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation especially in the case of commercial business services available to the public,” said CRARR’s executive director, Fo Niemi. “That's on top of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.”
Niemi is encouraging the couple to take legal action.
“We have to stop this kind of use of religion as a proxy to promote anti-gay bias,” he said.
The incident prompted Cerantola’s colleagues to take to Facebook. They generated messages of support for the couple and drummed up dozens of photographer recommendations.
CTV Montreal has attempted to reach Premiere Productions for comment but the company has yet to respond.
The couple hopes the company will change its policy.