Wedding Finance

Mehmet Oz campaigns in a venue that doesn’t allow same-sex marriages

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ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. — Mehmet Oz, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania and a supporter of codifying the right to same-sex marriage into law, campaigned Wednesday night at an event venue that does not allow same-sex marriages, according to its website.

The Stone Gables Estate website, which says it is a “biblical faith-based ministry/business,” includes a section titled “Our Core Values” which states that it conducts wedding services.” as ordained by the Word of God, the Holy Bible, which conform to the written truth that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

A woman who answered the phone at the venue earlier on Wednesday said she does not book same-sex weddings. The individual, who declined to share his name and said he worked in event support, referred a reporter to general manager Cameron Norris. In a brief phone conversation, Norris did not provide further details on the site’s policies.

As a candidate for the United States Senate, Oz supported same-sex marriage. After Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suggested the court reconsider its landmark 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, Oz indicated he would support federal legislation to codify same-sex marriage.

“I am proud to join this effort with my fellow Republicans. I believe same-sex couples should have the same freedom to marry as straight couples,” Oz tweeted in September.

Oz campaign spokeswoman Brittany Yanick did not return a request for comment on the campaign’s decision to hold an event at the site.

Inside the sprawling property’s main barn, Oz addressed a crowd here in one of the most Republican neighborhoods in the state. Oz, who is running against Democrat John Fetterman in a close race seen as key to determining which party controls the Senate, introduced attendees to a centrist ideology.

“You need to have less extremism, more balance in Washington,” Oz said. “This is what will allow us to face the challenges that this country is facing.”

Oz did not mention same-sex marriage in his brief 10-minute remarks.

Stone Gables Estate came to public attention in 2019 when its same-sex marriage policy was widely shared on social media, creating an outcry. A local tourism organization, Discover Lancaster, was supposed to hold a lunch there and canceled it, according to the PennLive website.

Property owner David Abel then defended his policy, telling PennLive, “No one will be discriminated against; however…we cannot participate in any event that would contradict “the fundamentals,” one of them being marriage, which has been biblically based for thousands of years as being between a man and a woman “.

Abel is also a supporter of Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Tierney, donated about $30,000 to Mastriano’s campaign this year, according to campaign finance records.

Oz, who is trying to appeal to the more moderate Pennsylvania voter, has distanced himself from Mastriano, a far-right candidate who has taken a Christian nationalist view. Oz and Mastriano have not campaigned together, aside from appearing at a rally with former President Donald Trump in September. They are both due to attend a Trump rally in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Oz worked to shore up support from the Republican establishment, while many GOP leaders in the state shunned Mastriano.