Jonathan Bennett, host of Food Networks Halloween Wars and Mean Girls star, and his fiancé Jaymes Vaughan were turned away by the Palace Resorts property in Mexico because of the owner's homophobic views.
The location had been their dream wedding venue.
Back in November of 2020, Vaughan proposed to Bennett with a song he wrote himself.
In an interview with People Magazine, Bennett recalls the moment of their engagement:
"I looked over and saw Jaymes holding a sign that said, 'We never did find our song, so I wrote it for you'."
"That's when I knew was getting proposed to because it was the same type of sign he made when he told me he loved me for the first time."
"And then I began to ugly-cry the ugliest cry anyone has ever cried."
In an interview with The Knot for their LGBTQ+ issue, Vaughan and Bennet discussed how they're making their wedding about more than just themselves, but about the community at large as a result of their dream venue rejection.
The first LGBTQ+ couple on the cover of @theknot! Incredibly honored to be sharing this moment in history with the… https://t.co/mOY2EJT6xS— Jaymes Vaughan (@Jaymes Vaughan) 1618932472.0
When asked about engaged couples finding vendors aligned with their values, Bennett said:
"As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, you don't just need to feel safe—you need to feel celebrated."
"For years, we planned to get married at Palace Resorts in Mexico."
"When we got engaged, the owner said he couldn't marry us because we're two men and it goes against his morals."
He explained the owners choice to deny them their dream wedding felt like a 'punch to the gut,' but the instance has fueled their decision to be loud and proud with their wedding.
"It's our wedding, but it isn't just about us. It's about the LGBTQ+ community."
"We're really making a point to make this wedding very loud on purpose."
Bennett and Vaughan are now co-owners of an LGBTQ+ travel adventure company called OUTbound that transforms ships and resorts into an LGBTQ+ pride celebration and adventure.
The couple wanted to create this because of their love of travel and their awareness not all LGBTQ+ people feel safe in every space.
Bennett continued about their wedding:
"I want to make sure that through this whole process of our love and wedding, and building our family, that we are trailblazing for the LGBTQ+ community."
"I want everyone to realize that they are never too much, and they're always enough. That's my mission in life."
Vaughan mentioned how important visibility of queer love is:
"I always think about what could have saved me so much hurt and so much heartache, and it's just visibility."
"I make a point to share our love a lot on Instagram, to show that we have this relationship full of love and support and it's healthy."
"People need to know that healthy love exists out there."
Across the country, there are discrimination cases of people refusing to serve LGBTQ+ people, claiming it is their religious right to do so.
This is a continuous struggle for LGBTQ+ people as the states go against the protections already created by the Supreme Court.
The visibility Bennett and Vaughan mentioned will be integral to the fight for LGBTQ+ equality.