When Lana Rusev fled Ukraine, she was trying to avoid the religious persecution she’s now experiencing in Florida! The wedding planner is experiencing flak from Jacksonville’s LGBT community. The freedoms she desired here are slowly fading away.
For more than twenty years, Lana has been adjusting to her life in the U.S. and trying to avoid the attacks on the freedoms she dreamed of as she started her business, Simply Elegant Wedding Planning. Lana was anxious to help area brides and grooms celebrate their big day. So when a lesbian couple approached her, as a Christian, she could not in good conscious commit. She is not the only victim of this decision.
In a polite letter to Melissa McCord and her partner, Rusev explained that not only was there a conflict with the dates — but with her conscience. “After checking our booked events I have discovered that we are booked on the 30th and 31st and unfortunately are not able to take additional events for the weekend. Also, due to my strong personal belief, I do not feel comfortable planning a wedding for lesbian couples. I hope you understand and do not take this personally. I am really sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.”
The couple grew angry and assaulted them in the media. Within hours, Lana was inundated with threats and negative business reviews. But it’ll take a lot more than harassment to scare off Rusev. “I understand that they may be hurt, but there are other wedding planners who are okay with doing this.”
Although she isn’t sorry, she is disappointed in her new country. Being bullied for her faith isn’t exactly what she envisioned when she immigrated to the “free world.” “This takes me back to about 26 years ago when my family and I fled from a country that persecuted people for their belief.” Like so many Americans, Lana says, “I believe people should be able to choose how they live their life. But for me, because of my personal belief, I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.”
Unfortunately, the Left no longer believes in “live and let live” — they prefer “live and force compliance.” But of course, the extremists who are trying to redefine marriage try to rebuff the opposition by arguing, “How does my same-sex marriage affect your marriage?” “If I hurt anyone, I apologize,” Lana explained, “but that is my personal belief. We all are entitled to our beliefs.”
Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Clipart