Jonathan Bennett Says He And His Fiancé Were Rejected By Wedding Venue For Being Gay

The "Mean Girls" actor told The Knot it was "a sucker punch to the gut," but also the moment the couple realized "our wedding was bigger than us."

If you start seeing more of Jonathan Bennett in the months leading up to his wedding, well, that’s because he planned it that way.

The “Mean Girls” actor and his fiancé, Jaymes Vaughan, grace the cover of The Knot’s summer 2021 issue, titled “Pride & Joy.” In the accompanying interview, the two men share some of the challenges they’ve faced as a same-sex couple planning a wedding.

Bennett, who stars in the new comedy “Take Me to Tarzana” and had a recent guest stint on ABC’s “Station 19,” told the magazine that he and Vaughan initially planned to have their ceremony at a Palace Resorts property in Mexico, but allege that they were turned away because they are gay.

“When we got engaged, the owner said he couldn’t marry us because we’re two men and it goes against his morals,” he said. “That was a sucker punch to the gut. We decided in that moment that our wedding was bigger than us. It’s about the LGBTQ+ community. We’re really making a point to make this wedding very loud on purpose.”

Palace Resorts did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

In 2018, Giulia Umile and Jess Herron of Philadelphia alleged that Cancún’s Le Blanc Spa Resort, which is owned by Palace Resorts, refused to host their wedding because they were a lesbian couple. Ultimately, the women were married at UNICO Hotel, an LGBTQ-inclusive resort in Mexico’s Riviera Maya region.

Jaymes Vaughan (left) and Jonathan Bennett cover The Knot's summer 2021 issue.
Jaymes Vaughan (left) and Jonathan Bennett cover The Knot's summer 2021 issue.
Easton Schirra/The Knot

Bennett, 39, broke fresh ground on the small screen last fall as the star of “The Christmas House,” the Hallmark Channel’s first holiday movie to feature a gay storyline. He is best known for playing Aaron Samuels, the love interest of teen rivals Regina George (Rachel McAdams) and Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) in 2004’s “Mean Girls.”

He and Vaughan have not publicly announced a date for their ceremony, but they seem to have several details already figured out. Vaughan, a television personality who hosts “Celebrity Page” for Reelz, created symbolic rings that the couple will wear for both their engagement and the wedding.

“There really isn’t a precedent for two guys,” Vaughan told The Knot. “I knew we both wanted to wear rings to say we’re engaged. ... When you wear the ring diamond-side out, the world sees we’re engaged. When we get married, it flips and the diamonds face us, because my world is more beautiful with you in it forever.”

Bennett told the publication that he is more determined than ever to highlight queer themes both on- and off-screen.

“The pandemic has made us step back and look at what’s important,” he said. “I want to tell these kinds of stories. I want to get married to Jaymes and make sure our love is very loud for everyone to see. We’re doing a lot of firsts. I hope by doing all of this, it changes some hearts and minds and helps people in our community feel seen and represented.”

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