Lesbian Couple, Turned Away From Justin Chapel, Exchange Vows At Cathedral of Hope

Categories: Events
rings.jpg
Photos by Andrea Grimes
Tina Shaft, wearing a feathered headpice, married her partner of nearly a decade, Tiffany Fenimore, in a service at the Interfaith Peace Chapel at the Cathedral of Hope on Friday afternoon.
After they were turned away from a private wedding venue in Justin, north of Fort Worth, because of their sexual orientation, Tina Shaft and Tiffany Fenimore got married Friday at the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas. In a ceremony that featured two brides, two bouquets and music from The Pretenders, Shaft and Fenimore made it official -- well, as official as Texans can make it, what with gay marriage still being illegal in this state -- after nearly 10 years together. But it's not just the guv'mint that's not too keen on lesbian weddings -- the women were originally turned away from a private, non-religious wedding venue called the Country Abbey last summer.

CBS-11 and the Dallas Voice reported on the story last June. Via the Voice (CBS-11 doesn't seem to have the story online):
Local gay-rights attorney Rob Wiley told CBS 11 that the couple has no recourse except to find another venue, because there is no prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations.

CBS 11 reports that the owner of the Country Abbey refused to be interviewed on camera about why she won't let same-sex couples pay the roughly $2,000 booking fee for the Country Abbey (which, according to the website, doesn't include catering).
Shaft said that she'd e-mailed a number of venues, but most never even wrote her back. The Country Abbey did, however, "take the time," she said, to tell her they didn't allow gay weddings. Word got out when Shaft left comments online at CBS and elsewhere advising other couples not to patronize anti-gay venues, and the Cathedral of Hope and other local Dallas businesses came together to donate the chapel and services to the couple so they could wed -- with their three children looking on.

"I want people to see we're just like everybody else," Shaft told me in a phone interview after the service, which brought out video and still photographers from a number of news outlets. Shaft admitted that the media aspect was stressful -- especially since she felt like some news outlets were a little hostile.

"One guy asked us what we were trying to prove," she recalls. "What are we trying to prove? We're just trying to get married!"

ringsside.jpg
Shaft and Fenimore -- soon to be Shaft-Fenimore and Fenimore -- were married in the Philip Johnson-designed Interfaith Peace Chapel. "It was beautiful," Shaft says. "I never imagined we could get married in a church."

The couple met more than a decade ago, when Shaft was still married and had not yet come out. "[Fenimore] was there when my baby was a baby," remembers Shaft, and their friendship eventually grew into more. Today, Shaft is studying for a criminal justice degree while Fenimore works as a bartender. "She is wonderful and works while I go to school," says Shaft.

The wedding featured the couple's daughters and their best friend. Both brides were walked down the aisle by their parents. The ceremony was officiated by Christopher Thomas, who quoted Ruth 1:16 -- the "wither thou goest, I will go" verse -- and noted that while the passage is oft-quoted at weddings, it's rarely observed that it was spoken by Ruth to a woman, Naomi.
My Voice Nation Help
75 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Sxytxboy215021
Sxytxboy215021

Both of them are potheads,there trying to raise there little girls to be lesbians. Tiffany works at Babydolls in Dallas as a stripper not a bartender. There whole family is messed up trust me...

a b
a b

Two nice looking women, but in a sick, unnatural perverted disguting relationship. Pathetic...

Guest
Guest

Absolute best and all blessings to the dedicated happy couple and their family.Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

Vicky Theroux
Vicky Theroux

Bless your union! Marriage is only as holy as the vow is, regardless of whether legal or illegal...... How many Hollywood stars wed and Divorce in the matter of days/ weeks??

anonymous
anonymous

A church is the very LAST place these women should be getting married.

Pretty ladies, too bad they are immoral, self-righteous scum. More women that hate men and turn to the Lady Pond.

anonymous
anonymous

I don't hate gays, but guess what?

You can not assume we want you everywhere, we have rights as well.

I am sick of most men myself, and if I wanted to be gay, I could. But, I choose not to.

STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE THAT DON'T WANT YOU NEAR THEM I DOT HAVE GAY FRIENDS FOR A REASON.

YOU ARE NOT EQUAL, YOU NEVER WILL BE,

TUNA-DIVING I AND F*DGE-PACKING IS NOT RIGHT.

PERIOD.

lugidillo
lugidillo

Over the next decade, the United States is facing a potential shortage of criminal justice and security professionals, Search for "United Forensic College"

Jackmahhmer
Jackmahhmer

Why didnt they rent a hotel bowl room and get united. oh! wait these lesbos are trying to prove a point...chapels dont accept them.. i am so sick of PC's...

Joshua
Joshua

A lesbian named "shaft"????Gettouttahere!!!

The story is facinating! What is a "venue" in this context...is it a body position, a technique, an exploratory experiement, a kinda bondage garment, ...just so hard to understand this "orientation" thing when "sexual" gets added to the description....and the you bring in venue orientation and a friggin "feathered headpice" too....WHAT is a headPICE? Does the bride wear that, or does the "groomie" sorta strap it on somehow...and what does the minister do in one of these ceremonies....can't be a Jewish deal...no one getting married every had a bris or a bat.....and music by the "Pretenders?"...is that CODE LANGUAGE? gotta go back to school for some psychobabblesociologybiologic studies before any clarity is possible here....and, was there a bachelor party where SOMEONE got lapdances and a hooker the night before....or did they both stay home and play with the cats....

Skylerfenimore
Skylerfenimore

its great they got married my sister tiffany and my sister inlaw are the most greatest couple around love u girls khristy

cp
cp

Did Tina not dance with you at the school prom?

tina
tina

Bachelorette* party. Groomie? Really, how much ignorance can be shown in one paragraph? Discrimination, stereotyping, and religious intolerance all wrapped up in one statement.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

It makes me feel great that over my years of being a Unfair Park fan, the comments regarding GLBT marriage have become less hostile and more supportive.

Which proves my point that Dallas is so much cooler and progressive than our leaders and religious leaning press would have us think.

Joshua
Joshua

I don't think many are hostile, really. But as a subculture, GLBT is very difficult for a straight to comprehend beyond some kinda mechanical understanding of physiognomy and lubrication methods. Stereotyping is shallow for certain, as all people are unique individuals...yet emotionally, so many in the community are downright addicted to excitement and relationship turmoil. A married hetero male is apt to think of same person marriage as a permanent visit to the land of perpetual PMS ville....so, progressive maybe, but more likely pretty silent..which is not the same as approval nor is it blatantly hostile. Like one of Ayn Rand's protagonists said to a harrassing newspaper critique who wanted to know what the protagonist considered of his scathing crique...and was told "Frankly, I don't ever think of it."

cp
cp

Even though FBC Dallas hates you, er I mean, loves the homo out of you.....

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

cp

FBC loves me but hates my sin.

My partner of 20 years loves them both.

Also, FBC is not preparing me an amazing dinner for Valentines.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Agreed. I like to think that the vocal minority is getting quieter. The problem is, they make for great headlines, which translates into higher ratings and ad sales. After all, the media are a business.How else do you explain the good Rev. Jeffress?

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Who is the lesbianWho wants to marry another lesbianSHAFT!You're damn right

Gabe
Gabe

The internets really do a HTML tag for the Isaac Hayes voice. Something like <chef></chef>

Sweeydessie77
Sweeydessie77

I have know you both for yrs & I think it is a wonderful thing. You two have grown together in so many ways. Just like ANY OTHER RELATIONSHIP. Rather it be man & woman, woman & woman or man & man. All relationships grow over time & so does the love for one another. God put you in eacothers lives for a reason. You both are the happiest I have ever seen you two. CONGRATS & may God continue to bless you both!! ;))

tina
tina

Love you too Dessie! Wish you could have been here :)

Rooster
Rooster

So the other place didn't want them. So what?

Someone not wanting to cash your check for whatever perceived beliefs they have speaks much more about them than it does about you. It's not a referendum on you, your lifestyle, or your worth.

Jonnytortuous
Jonnytortuous

no it isn't however, its just as discriminatory as Northwood Country Club not allowing Jews and Blacks to golf there only because they are a private establishment.

cp
cp

Why on Earth would anyone want to play golf at Northwood Country Club??

Joshua
Joshua

Tiger Woods would spit on the green there too.

Rooster
Rooster

And I don't have any problem with that, either. Why on earth would anyone want to pay money to associate with people who don't want them there, or pay money to a wedding hall that doesn't want their business? Again, it's not a referendum on you, your lifestyle, or your worth.

I mean, have we all become that insecure?

If Northwood Country Club doesn't want me as a member, it is no skin whatsoever off my back. Screw them. I'll give my time and money to someone else.

Rooster
Rooster

Where is it written that you have to be politically correct to be a non-profit club and enjoy federal tax benefits?

Everyone in this country reserves the right to be an idiot, even if that ideology doesn't agree with yours.

Anonymous
Anonymous

fair enough, but then they should not enjoy federal tax benefits as a non-profit.

Brint
Brint

Unfair Park comments on GLBT posts make me remember why it's good to be in LA, or Chicago, or NYC. Dallas is great, but it's still Texas.

Joshua
Joshua

I would rather live in Dallas than the crime filled cesspools of LA, Chicago, or NYC. Perhaps you meant San Francisco or Seattle? Less likely to get beat up there.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

What do you say about a business that can turn away $2000.00 plus just to prove a point .I guess that really shows that couple.

Telling folks "GO AWAY" Your Money isn't Welcome only shows Ignorance on the part of the owner of Country Abby .

As for the couple just remember given time everyone can find a place we aren't welcome.

Good luck .As for the couple

bugman07
bugman07

It's a private business...period. They can choose not to hold services for gays/lesbians if they don't want to. That doesn't mean you have to agree with them. If the public doesn't agrree with them, they will eventually go out of business.

But as much as you think they are backwards hicks, there are a lot of people that will support the Justin Chapel for upholding certain moral or religious beliefs.

Joshua
Joshua

Maybe it is a throwback to the days of White Only waiting rooms and bathrooms.

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

So these girls meet a decade ago. Was that middle school? One of them has a baby?

This why I don't believe there is such thing as a "lesbian." Women can change, guys on the other hand not so much.

Before someone gets all riled up, truth is a guy will date a girl who has been with a woman. But no girl will date a guy who has been with a man.

Joshua
Joshua

and a guy will date TWO girls if they ALL romp together...isn't THAT your point.

There was an old gay from CalhounWho took a young Lesbian to his room.they argued ALL night, over who had the RightTo do what, and with which, and to whom.

Harvey
Harvey

I'll bet these young ladies are what most parents would consider great kids. Some of us might even suggest that having a good gay kid is a lot better than having some of the straight kids our not so lucky friends have. I know that is the way we feel.

Joshua
Joshua

Somehow I think if the parents visited the "girls" internet pages, they might merely be disgusted AND humiliated. Not about the orientation, but about the sluttiness of the whole deal.

tina
tina

Sluttiness? Is that even a word? Just another word created by men to try to convince women to conform to their ideals. I am far from being a "girl". Any action I do sexually is no business of my parents, or nosy people on the internet who read a story about my wedding and try to turn it sexual. Of course, only proves what all of us already know. When people hear the word "gay" or "lesbian" all they can think about is our sex lives. Did you take the time to figure out how to see our private profiles? I mean, who really is the pervert in this situation? Us, sharing our love and commitment with the world, or you, perusing the internet trying to find dirty stuff?

cp
cp

The the hell outta Justin!

Harvey
Harvey

A question I have to often answer from the intellectually challenged is "do you ever think about what they do to each other?"

I always have to smile at that one. I don't think about what our son and his partner do. Just like I don't wonder what our three straight kids do with their spouses. I imagine some people do, sick don't you think?

tina
tina

I'm going to be honest and say that I think that is all Joshua is thinking about. Thankfully there are privacy settings so he can't have any more ammunition for his "thoughts".

cp
cp

Yeah well, I'm afraid that my mother would disagree. She would be happier for me if I were married to some wife-beating slob, living in a trailer park with 10 kids, going to church to learn how to forgive and honor my husband than me being a successful and happy lesbian. No matter what, there are a lot of people who just will not accept that their "great kids" are gay too, so that invalidates all the "great".

Harvey
Harvey

So it is.

Every now and then someone will assume I'm about half the redneck I look to be. They'll spout off something homophobic and they find a side of me they never expected to see.

I don't fight fair. I frame the conversation about kids instead of about homos. It's hard to argue anything and feel righteous when you're going against an obviously sincere and proud parent.

One of the great things about figuring out homosexuality is genetic is it's made me more tolerant of the homophobes amongst us. You see if sexual preference is genetic then intolerance is probably genetic too. I know assholeitis is genetic because it's like the kid says, "who would be that way if they had a choice?"

Yeah, I know. That's a tough nut to chew on.....but, maybe, just maybe if we look at their faults as being beyond their control then our compassion, well, maybe it can help them, not a bad thing wouldn't you agree?

Joshua
Joshua

It might make your situation more tollerable and acceptable to straights if you would learn different phrases and metaphors than "its a tough nut to chew on" if you get my drift.

ST
ST

They could have married at a venue in Dallas because that city has an ordinace that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orinentation--the state and federal governments do not (but Austin, like Dallas, does).

cp
cp

Actually the Dallas non-discrimination ordinance applies to extending same-sex couples benefits to city employees and their partners. However, it gets canceled out by the State Constitutional Amendment two years ago that dis-allows cities from extending same-sex partner benefits. I'm surprised that no one has challenged this yet in a court of law... Then again, it took how many years to get the sodomy law off the books in Texas?

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I think this received coverage because these ladies are pretty dang hot, just had to be honest about that up-front guys...But yeah, Justin is just an ass-backwards town, always has been and always will be. Im glad these gals were able to marry, as everyone deserves to be happy ;)

Blarg
Blarg

Everyone deserves to be happy? That reminds me of what gay marriage advocates are fond of saying, that it's all about love and people should be able to marry whoever they love and that's a fundamentally dishonest thing to say. Even the gay community isn't advocating children marrying their parents or bigamy or all sorts of other marriages even if the people involved love each other, they simply want an institution that currently allows one specific group of people to include their specific group of people, they'd still deny plenty of other groups from marrying but they can't admit that because then they would be labeled bigots just like they label anyone opposed to them bigots.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Wow, wrong way to read into a comment LOL. I agree, I should've been clearer. Every consenting adult over the age of 18 deserves to be happy in the marriage/commitment of their choice with someone. Blarg, I'm guessing your one of those people w/o a valentine today..I feel for ya ;)

Blarg
Blarg

Um, i didn't misread your comment, parents can have children that are consenting adults, they do eventually grow up. And thanks for the insult OAT, reminds me of another mantra of the gay community, they don't have to be tolerant of everyone, but everyone has to be tolerant of them.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

"I'm guessing your one of those people w/o a valentine today." Or even worse for some one out there maybe he does...

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...