Wedding Wire and The Knot Terminate Agreements With Our Ministry Because We Refuse To Perform Same-Sex Marriage

In an email sent to our office this morning, a representative of the Legal Department of The Knot Worldwide stated:

Dear Steven,
 
In correspondence with The Knot Worldwide and it’s affiliates, Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland has acknowledged that it has refused to provide services to same-sex couples. The Knot Worldwide and it’s affiliates understand that each business has the right to make their own decisions and the freedom to create a business that works best for them, but those decisions are subject to applicable laws, policies and contract terms and conditions.
 
The Knot Worldwide and it’s affiliates have a clear policy of inclusion founded on legal and moral principles that we implement across our platforms.  We welcome all couples no matter their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital, family, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran or citizenship status and any other characteristics protected by law and we stand by our core belief of inclusivity. We make a personal commitment every day to provide the best possible wedding planning experience for all couples. By partnering with The Knot Worldwide, vendors are agreeing to serve every couple to the best of their ability and on these terms without discrimination and act in a way that reflects well on themselves and their business partners.
Our overall goal is to make The Knot Worldwide and it’s affiliates a warm and welcoming community for everyone. We do not permit discrimination of any kind, by, to, or against our consumers, vendors, guests, or employees, and reserve the right to take actions, up to and including removal from the site, in response to any discrimination.
At this time, The Knot Worldwide and it’s affiliates have decided to end our relationship with Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland based on the inclusivity and non-discrimination standards that have always been an important part of our culture, our brands and our marketplace. Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland has refused to abide by these terms. This termination will take effect today, September 10th, 2020. 
 
We will also be removing the storefronts and any advertising previously associated with your accounts, in all markets on The Knot Worldwide’s affiliate sites. You will likely see these refreshed/removed within a couple of days. The Knot Worldwide wishes you and Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland success in your future endeavors.
Regards,
 
Lindsay H.
Policy Analyst 
The Knot Worldwide
The wedding planning platforms The Knot https://www.theknot.com/ and Wedding Wire https://www.weddingwire.com/, and the website weddingpro.com is owned and operated The Knot Worldwide.
Photo: Rev. Steven D. Hofmeister

Rev. Steven D. Hofmeister (Pastor Steve)

“I find this to be a blatant disregard to our religious liberties.”, said Pastor Steven Hofmeister, the Senior Pastor, Founder, and President of Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland. 

 

Pastor Steve Continued,

“DIMOM [Abeviation for Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland] makes it very clear in our policies that we do not discriminate on any basis, except those matters which contradict our statement of faith and God’s grand design. 
It is our belief which we took great care in researching before instituting our Same-Sex Marriage Policy that Same-Sex marriage is not permissible within our Christian belief, and not biblically supported as being permissible in God’s grand design.  Our clients have knowingly searched for and contracted us through these platforms [The Knot & Wedding Wire] to perform Christian Wedding Ceremonies.  We clearly stated on these profiles and all of our advertising
“We do not offer services for same-sex marriage as they violate our statement of faith. However, please understand we do not judge those who differ in our position.”
We have not misrepresented ourselves in any way.  We are commanded in the Holy Bible to Love Everyone including our Enemies, and welcome all to worship, pray, and seek God with us.  We only draw the line at Same-Sex Marriage as our beliefs and Holy Bible make it clear that this is a sacrament specific to a Man and Woman, and not open to reinterpretation.
Jesus Said,
“43 You have heard the law that says, Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT).
It saddens us that The Knot Worldwide would find our beliefs to be a matter of discrimination, especially for a company that specifically caters to the Wedding Industry.  We feel very strongly that the language “We do not offer services for same-sex marriage as they violate our statement of faith. However, please understand we do not judge those who differ in our position.” makes is very clear that we respect the beliefs of others, and by having such a statement in our advertising on these platforms allows the customer to make an informed decision that we are not the provider they are looking for Same-Sex Marriages.  
 
It is clearly stated in our statement of faith the following language.

Same-Sex Marriage

It is the official position of this ministry under this standard that same-sex marriage is not part of God’s marriage design.

Though we do not condone the ridiculing, shaming, shunning, or the placing of judgment on those who have been joined under a different doctrinal view Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland does not authorize or condone its Officiants, and Ordained Ministers to practice same-sex marriage ceremonies, commitment ceremonies, or unions while ministering under the authority of this ministry, a church plant of this ministry, or during the support of a church or ministry we are assisting.

To exclude us solely for making this openly known and available knowledge to the prospective client I find to be unacceptable.  We are not twisting arms here, nor are we pushing our beliefs on anyone unwillingly.
We are happy to report that upon informing our clients we have gained through these platforms of this matter, several have voluntarily decided to cease using The Knot and Wedding Wire.
We were very satisfied with the services we recieved from these platforms, but we are not willing to compromise our beliefs in order to continue with them.  In the event The Knot Worldwide changes thier perspective we would consider partnering with them again. 

Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland is a Not For Profit, Non-Denominational Christian Ministry that offers worship, study, and community support activities outside of the common church venue. We also provide Matrimonial, Funeral, Baptism, & Blessing services. More information is available at https://dimom.org/about/.

Donations are Tax-Deductible

END

Rev. Steven D. Hofmeister
Senior Pastor & Founder
443-203-8238
info@dimom.org