Free to Believe

Chris and Nang Mai

UrLoved: San Rafael, California

Nang and Chris Mai, a Bay area husband-and-wife team of photographers, closed their photography business UrLoved after declining to shoot a wedding of two men who identify as homosexual. In the fall of 2014, the photographers received the request and responded with the following explanation: "Photographing a gay wedding is not the best match for us. However," they said, "we can refer you to a colleague who would make a great match..." The men were so outraged that they launched a Facebook movement to shame UrLoved into submission.

After the smear campaign had gone on for a few weeks, Nang and Chris were blown away by the ferocity of the opposition. They took to their business webpage to make the announcement that since their morals wouldn't give, their business would have to.  They indicated that photographing a couple with different personal beliefs did not pose the problem. They continued, "We genuinely felt referring this couple to a photographer who does share their personal beliefs would provide them with the best service for their special day... Unfortunately, our artistic passion for excellence and personal beliefs were misinterpreted. That was never our intent. We have been flooded with hate calls, emails, and accusations that inaccurately depict our business. On top of that, we have come to a difficult decision that we will no longer be in the wedding photography business. We are grateful for this experience as it has caused us to think about how our personal beliefs intersect with our business practices." 

Photo credit: Courtesy of UrLoved Photography