Biblical Christian Refuses To Rent Banquet Hall To Lesbian Couple

Each week, Queerty picks one blowhard, hypocrite, airhead, sanctimonious prick or other enemy of all that is queer to be the Douche of the Week. 

Have a nominee for DOTW? E-mail it to us at [email protected].

A Queerty reader from Moline, IL, clued us into a sad story from his hometown: A lesbian couple was denied the right to rent a reception hall for their wedding because a staffer said she didn’t “believe in homosexual marriage.”

Didn’t believe in it? Like it doesn’t exist, or you just don’t like it?

Kristen Stewart (no, not that Kristen Stewart) told Taylor Shumaker to look elsewhere for a space to hold her event, because the University Club in downtown Moline didn’t rent to queers.

Shumaker says she called the University Club on Tuesday to inquire about the place. Bar Manager Kristen Stewart offered to give Shumaker a tour and asked if her fiance would be coming.

”And she asked if ‘he’ would be coming and I just said no, it’s not actually a ‘he.’ It’s a ‘she,’ and she said excuse me?” recounted Shumaker.

”I said, it’s a woman, and she said oh, we don’t rent to homosexual couples.”

Shumaker told WQAD Channel 8 that she wouldn’t have bothered calling the historic club if she knew that was the policy. “If it would have been on the website from the very beginning, I wouldn’t have wasted my time.”

For her part, Stewart told the network that, “as a biblical Christian, I cannot help them into or celebrate that sin.”

Except the Illinois Human Rights Act bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, so Stewart had no legal right to turn Shumaker away.

Turns out she didn’t have the authority, either: Kristen’s husband, Perry, is actually the president of the University Club, and his parents are the owners. Kristen is just the bar manager. Mr. Stewart said this wife ”mis-spoke” and there’s no ban on same-sex ceremonies at the hall.

Mrs. Stewart admitted she and her husband don’t see eye-to-eye on the issue:

”My husband’s family does not hold the same view. If there is a homosexual couple I will pass them onto them. I have told him if they want to do homosexual receptions I would not have any part of that. He and his family have decided they will,” Stewart said.

Well, gee, Kristen, if your husband tells you he wants to do something, isn’t it your job to joyfully submit to him? Sees like as a biblical Christian, you should know that.

All together now: What a douche!


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  • Axel

    People like her annoy me to NO END. I hate when people hide behind the religion tag.

  • MikeE

    @Axel: I find it worse when the cherry pick which religious edicts they want to impose on others.

    notice this woman uses “the bible” as her excuse… yet, as Queerty rightfully notes, according to the bible, there is no way in hell that she should be contradicting her husband.

    I’ll bet her favourite Sunday dress is a nice cotton-blend, that her Sunday breakfast involves bacon or ham, and she probably cuts her husband’s hair.

    Like I said: cherry picking. Typical right-wing christian fascist hypocrisy.

  • w.e.

    The owner changed his tune because of a little something called his business license.

  • Chad

    @MikeE: I agree, if she is a biblical christian she should be submissive to her husband. And why is she a manager. The bible clearly says woman shall hold no position of authority. This woman needs to get back in the kitchen.

  • EastCoastMan

    Do you expect anything else from Christians? Hypocritical, evil, hateful and discriminatory are just on the surface of what is wrong with them/

  • MJ

    Time and time again, Christians in mass number show their prejudice and bigotry with pride. Why donn’t the rest of the world who doesn’t subscribe to this MAN MADE fairy tale book call these people out? WHY are we as a society so respectful towad religious nut jobs? WHY don’t we demand they *prove* this work of make belief as fact? We treat religion and religious people so sacred. I sincerely don’t feel enough people speak out against it.
    This whole bull of “well, not every religious person is evil”…well, I’m sure not every Nazi felt good about what they were doing either, but Christianity IS leading to lives being lost. Many lives. And much ignorance being promoted by nothing but a glorified cult. Why does so much of society stand for it?

  • Steve Jonasen

    @ MJ

    You actually make some valid points. For as much influence as Christianity has on society, laws, and rules in this country, we surely don’t demand much focus on them PROVING their beliefs. I mean, if your belief is going to shape millions of lives and laws, you need to prove it. And we need to start demanding Christians PROVE, not recite, but prove every single verse in their Bible.

  • Dynex

    She’s a Christian. Did you expect anything above irrational? Crazy? Ridiculous?
    Laugh in their faces and be sure to remind them that the only reason they believe their ludicrous religion is because they are so self indulgent that they need to make up a space with fluffy white clouds, and a reunion with their favorite dead relatives when they die. That’s all it really is. Time to be honest with ourselves about religion. A man made lie to give egomaniacs a purpose to face aging.

  • 2Deep

    Que the self hating religious gay tool who’ll come here and write “but but BUT guys, can’t you see how generalizing all Christians is wrong?”

    and to you, apologist for the cult, I say…..NEEYYYYOPE! When GAYS make Christians endure the millions upon billions of injustices, crap, and suffering Christians make gays endure. THEN we’ll talk. Until then, there’s too many Christians funding billions of dollars across many legislations to strip my rights away from me, for me to see your martyrdome. Go cry ina corner. With a cross.

  • Cam

    If she is a Biblical Christian, she is actually not supposed to share her opinion with anybody without first talking to her husband and having him tell her what her opinion is. Does she speak in church? Wear Pants? Eat Shellfish?, you know the list.

    Oh wait, THATS right, she ignores the entire Bible except the part that she uses as an excuse to be a bigot.

  • Jeff

    Believe it or not, I’m attending my cousin’s wedding reception there tomorrow night. My aunt said she was a real “SeeYouNextTuesday”-her words, I woulda just said it. Times like this I wish I was in a relationship. We’d sit in the bar and kiss right in front of this bitch. For the record, they’re serving shrimp cocktail at the wedding dinner, so she isn’t that good a ‘biblical Christian.’ Would anyone like me to pass on a word or two to this DOTW?

  • MJ (different from the other one)

    Who gave her the right to act like she was running the place anyway? she knew her position and should’ve told them that she can’t handle that and should’ve just passed the phone off. If she doesn’t want to be a part of it, fine. no one wants her anyway, but don’t step outside of the boundaries of your position. she was just the bar manager. her in-laws get the final say in regards to gay and lesbians. not her. she needs submit herself and sit down!!!

  • kendoll

    Not THAT Kristen Stewart? Doh!!

  • LaTeesha

    Why would you want to give this family any of your money or be around them on your wedding day? I’m always thrilled when folks such as this reveal themselves to be the bigots that they are. I’d much rather give my money to someone who genuinely welcomes my business – not somebody who says, “F*ck, we’re going to get in legal trouble so we’d better make something up to explain away our bigotry.”

  • WP


  • dailyposter.

    Religion kills!
    Pass it on and save lives.

  • Chris

    @LaTeesha: Well we really don’t know what the family’s position was prior to this incident. All we know is that after she turned someone down, the family said she had no authority to do so. She admits that the family/owners have a different opinion than she does. I can say from personal experience, unless there is an incident, it is sometime difficult to know what the people answering your phones are saying. In all honesty, this may have been the first couple that came to that venue, and the family/owners did the right thing, by overruling the daughter in law. While, in many circumstances, we would want to see some disciplinary action (firing, etc), that is especially complicated when you are married to the offender.

    To those saying that they only did it to avoid legal trouble…so what? Isn’t that why we work so hard for anti discrimination laws?

  • Dean Lowry

    @Chris: Amen. They rectified the situation and tolerance won, even if an egg or two was broken. At this point, formal legal equality and protection from discrimination is key – even begrudging tolerance is important, as it will move to acceptance soon enough (for some people…).

    xoxo Dean

  • B

    No. 6 · MJ wrote, “WHY are we as a society so respectful towad religious nut jobs?”

    Why? Well, for the same reason that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows freedom of religion. It wasn’t because the “Founding Fathers” didn’t think these religious people were nutty. It was that the area was “too hot to handle,” as evidenced by religious-fueled squabbles like the Thirty Years War that managed to kill off a non-trivial fraction of Europe’s population before it ended (and which was much closer to being “recent history” when the U.S. became an independent country). In addition, quite a few people migrated to North America because there was a change of monarch that resulted in a change of the officially sanctioned religion, and if you had the wrong one, you didn’t want to stay. People were tired of moving.

    The idea of “separation of church and state” was meant as kind of a truce. The crazy stuff was to be confined within church walls in return for the government leaving them alone. The problem with Mrs. Steward is that she wants to break the truce and apparently thinks her religious beliefs take precedence over state law in purely secular matters (e.g., running a rental business).

  • LaTeesha

    @Chris: So you want your money to go towards the daughter-in-law’s paycheck and her husband’s paycheck? I’ll pass. I’d rather give my money to a family that supports equality.

  • Dean Lowry

    @LaTeesha: As a practical matter, you have a point. That being said, that the couple followed through and booked the space vindicated the husband’s position that it pays to be inclusive. If gay/lesbian couples avoid their company, they would eliminate the incentive to be inclusive.

  • JusDaFacts

    exactly dean! well said…and seems like an OBVIOUS point

  • manxxxx

    @MJ (different from the other one): Actually, MJ, Taylor did the unexpected: She didn’t allow a christian bully to win. I had a similar situation at my place of work. I am a supervisor and one of my staff was hell bent on getting me removed by telling my co-workers and others that she had a serious problem working for me because I was gay. What she didn’t expect is that I went right to MY supervisor and told him what was going on. In my discussions, however, I refused to let my sexual orientation be discussed. I nailed the would be assassin with our own corporate handbook. The most interesting thing is that I work in a “christian” environment.

  • Jax

    manxx, thats fascinating. how did it end? was she forced the face the consequences of overstepping boundaries of a fellow coworker? please tell me she and her brand of prejudice didn’t get off easy

  • Carl 1

    What a shining example this cretin will be/is for any children of hers. People like this, so lost in their hate, piss me off no end.

  • Chas

    “We have an open door policy, All are welcome.”

    Such nice people. I sent them some advice:

    Before you deny the use of your facilities to anyone else, let’s review the New Testament together, shall we?

    Matthew 7:1

    Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others.

    Matthew 6:14

    If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.

    Matthew 12:31

    I tell you: people can be forgiven any sin and any evil thing they say…

    John 21:20

    Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” So the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true…

  • keith m

    i would like to know if this woman would rent the hall out to a couple who have been divorced and marrying other people? the bible is clear about this subject, “if anyone who divorces his wife for any reason other than adultery and marries another commits adultery.” with this country’s no fault divorce laws a lot of christians who dovorce and marries someone else are committing adultery, but this is ok in the eyes of the religeous.

  • Steve

    The text of the Illinois Human Rights Act is online, at

    The University Club is offered for rent, and they serve food and drink. Under 775 ILCS 5/5-101(A)(1), that makes the University Club a “public accommodation”. In 775 ILCS 5/1-102(A), the act bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations.

    Acting with authority as the “Manager”, Kristen refused to rent to them. That is a clear violation. Under 775 ILCS 5/1-102, the company is liable for actual damages and civil penalties, and lawyers fees. Seems to me, the University Club owes them some money. The amount depends on how many times they have done this, previously. For a third or subsequent offense, the civil penalty may be up to $50,000.

    The company is responsible for the acts of its management employees. Most companies would fire an employee for incurring such a liability. I suppose it’s difficult to fire your wife.

    Of course, they must make other arrangements for their reception. There’s no way the suit will be settled in time for the wedding. And even if it could be, the food and service would be bad…

  • F Stratford

    You guys should do positive reinforcement. Thank the real owners for their openmindedness. Any “University Club” is a high-end venue. Encouraging them to be inclusive by supporting them will incentivize others to follow suit. Winning the war sometimes means backing out of many unnecessary fights.

  • manxxxx

    @Jax: Jax: It didn’t go too well for her. She and another of my employees were warned by my boss (and their BIG boss) that he wasn’t in the habit of being a member of the bedroom police. He warned them that if there was one more word out of their mouths on the subject of anyone’s sex life they would be terminated immediately. I also let it be known to my superiors that according to the laws of our state I have the right to sue them in a civil action for defamation of character because the intent was to cause harm personally and professionally. The thing that infuriated the character assassins is that I never used their comments on my being gay. There was the implied threat they would go public. My boss let them know it was going to be pretty absurd for them to try and pull that on someone (me) who has worked for the organization for 40 years in a leadership role and there has never been a hint of impropriety. It wasn’t pleasant but as I told my partner of 35 years, I wasn’t about to let someone bully me. That’s why I applaud the actions of Taylor Shamaker.

  • Randall Reynolds

    I wonder what it’s like to be controlled by the myths of ancient desert nomads who believed the earth flat.

  • David

    It’s Iowa. We lived in Iowa for six years. Des Moines. I experienced Iowa homophobia first hand, when a cleaning woman declined to maintain our home because we were a same-sex couple. Yikes. Poor dear didn’t realize that gays typically clean a lot, even if they have a cleaning lady.

  • Dejae

    Unpopular opinion here, but good for her! I’m glad someone still has the nerve to stand up for themselves and their convictions. I suppose if Jerry Sandusky wanted to hold his NAMBLA convention there, this place should fold and allow that too. At some point even business owners have to know when to favor conviction over the almighty dollar.

    Why would this lesbian couple even want to have their celebration there to begin with? Find another venue. Going where you’re not wanted seems a bit masochistic to me.

  • B

    No. 32 · Dejae wrote, “Unpopular opinion here, but good for her! I’m glad someone still has the nerve to stand up for themselves and their convictions. I suppose if Jerry Sandusky wanted to hold his NAMBLA convention there, this place should fold and allow that too.”

    Well, they should allow it – with all those creeps in one place, it would be easy for the police to round them up and send them all to the hoosegow.

    The serious answer is that the public accommodations laws specify specific criteria for which discrimination is illegal. A business is not required to help further criminal activity. I.e., if the mob decides to hold an organized-crime convention, calling themselves “Friends of Italian Opera” a hotel really doesn’t have to accept them, even if it means not getting some very funny dialog. Approximately:

    FBI AGENT: Where were you, Spats.

    SPATS COLUMBO: We were seeing Rigoletto.

    FBI AGENT: Whose that?

    SPATS: It’s an opera, you dummy.

    SPATS’ THUG: You heard em. We was at Rigoletto’s.

    (For those who haven’t seen this film, “Friends of Italian Opera” is the fake name for a Mafia convention used in the film Some Like it Hot, featuring Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in drag as they join an all-women’s orchestra to escape from the mob, which was looking for two hapless male musicians who saw one group of gangsters kill off another),

  • 1equalityUSA

    Dejae is tying LGBT with that tired old fossil, pedophilia. I’m surprised that a heavy petting zoo wasn’t thrown in for good measure.

  • Jeff

    Went to my cousin’s reception there tonight, and gotta tell you…that place isn’t that great. The people ‘working’ the reception were all young kids. There was no service to speak of, and Kristen Stewart pulled a fast one on my aunt in regards to some charges that I won’t go into here. Needless to say, there are WAY better places in the Quad Cities area for a reception. I got to stop Mrs. Stewart and tell her of her win as DOTW here on Queerty! I even informed her that SHE was the reason I didn’t spend any money at her establishment. She stormed off, and I will post the video this week when I get back to NYC!

  • JayUVA

    After the bride-to-be was on the local news and the ACLU was quoted as saying that denying the lesbians “probably violated the IL human rights act”… the owner of the University Club offered to donate some money to a charity in the names of the two women that his pious daughter-in-law turned away (the d-i-l that will no longer be taking reservations, guess she will be stuck behind the bar, lol). So several other places in town offered their facilities for free. Right on.

  • Jerry6

    If a divorced Christian man, and a divorced Cristian woman decide to get married, can thay hold their reception there?

  • 1equalityUSA

    Jerry6 asked, “If a divorced Christian man, and a divorced Christian woman decide to get married, can thay hold their reception there?” and the answer is, “Of course not, because they are straight. I don’t hate straight sinners, just gays sinners–Krisen Stewart (Love the bigot, hate the bigotry)

  • 1equalityUSA

    God I was tired last night. scary.

  • Jeff

    Looks like Stewart has resigned. :)

  • 1equalityUSA

    Now she can work full-time for 1,000 hormonal moms n’ NOMs

  • Gay Bacon

    Lmao NAMBLA aka the Catholic Church


    Ho God! what can you expect from a Christian and a woman??. Christian bloddy Christian.

  • Drusilla

    Karuadam – What’s with the misogyny?


    Drosilla, thing like you will say that HOMOSEXUALITY is choice! so Brest cancer..

  • Drusilla



    Axel, its not just religion its the worst! “Christianity”. Christianity, is a mentally ill condition and the only cure for it is to smoke a lot of PUT! yes MARIJUANA.

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