HUFFPOST PERSONAL

A Georgia Venue Is Refusing To Hold Same-Sex Weddings, So This Man Is Offering His Yard

Corey Forrester is used to sharing his opinions on social media. The Georgia-based comedian and author frequently speaks his mind to over 14,000 followers on just about any topic, from masculinity to his favorite movies.

So he didn’t think too much before sending out the following tweet on Tuesday, after his sister told him that a local venue is refusing to host weddings for same-sex couples.

“Just found out a wedding venue near my hometown has announced they are not going to allow gay marriages,” he wrote. “Just throwing it out there but if you live near me and are affected by this you can get Gay married in my yard free of charge and also I’m ordained so there.”

It’s a pretty sweet offer, especially considering his baller-looking backyard:

But for Forrester, who identifies as straight and is married himself, the offer is about more than just doing the right thing ― it also stems from a longstanding desire to dispel stereotypes about where he lives.

“Now that I have a semi-platform ― I ain’t shit, but a couple of people listen to me ― it just feels important to say that not everyone with my accent feels this way,” he told HuffPost. “I’m from Georgia, with the abortion laws and people not wanting gay people to get married. The stereotype when I go anywhere is, ‘Oh, if you’re from these states then you’re this way.’ And I’m like, ‘Here’s the deal, I’ve met a bunch of racist folk in California.’”

“I know the stereotype’s not going to go away in my lifetime,” he went on. “It is what it is, and don’t get me wrong, we’ve done our fair share to earn it. But I think it’s important for me to be like, ‘Hey, you can still come visit Georgia and kick it at my place.’” 

Forrester’s offer received over 2,000 likes on Twitter and over 5,000 more on Facebook. He revisited his posts to find, somewhat to his surprise, that nearly all of the comments were positive, including those from people in his community.

“Some people were saying, ‘Oh let me know, I’ll bring chairs,’ or ‘Let me know, I’ll make a cake,’” he said. “I was like ‘Wait, hold up ― I think I’m being an asshole here.’ Because there was part of me that expected to come back to some sort of fire, but it was beautiful.” 

Forrester is used to people disagreeing with him, and told HuffPost he has faced his share of backlash from friends for supporting the LGBTQ community. But “at the same time, those people probably weren’t my friends to begin with,” he said.

No one has taken him up on his offer yet, although some people have told him they might be interested in renewing their vows at his home, and others have said they wish they hadn’t already gotten married so they could accept his invitation. Forrester says he’s not sure if anything will come of his offer, but it still stands ― even though he’s been accused of making this grand gesture as a way to make money or elevate his viral status. 

“I would rather speak up and risk people thinking that than to not say anything and have people be like, ‘Man, I know Corey’s on our side, I wish he were more vocal about it, all he does is tweet fart jokes,’” he said. “If people want to shit on it and say I did it to make myself look good ― go ahead, that’s your right. But you can still come get married in my yard for free.” 

Forrester also wants to make his feelings about anti-LGBTQ businesses ― like the venue that inspired his offer ― crystal-clear.

“I don’t believe in any of this stuff, but if you believe Jesus loved you enough to literally get nailed to a tree for you, then why can’t you love someone enough to bake them a goddamn cake?” he said. “Don’t hide behind a god who would absolutely do the thing you’re not doing, and just love everybody. It’s hurtful and you wouldn’t want your kids treated that way.”

Excuse our language, but ― amen.

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