1. This is Clinton Brentwood Lee, a photographer from St. Petersburg, Florida. He has traveled the world for more than 15 years shooting weddings and other events for his company Brentwood Photography.
2. On Friday, like many people on Facebook, Lee changed his profile picture and cover photo for his business page to show support for marriage equality in the wake of the Supreme Court’s historic ruling.
3. “All we see is love,” he wrote.
Lee told BuzzFeed News it was important for him to share on his business page “what we stand proudly for.”
“I think it’s important to show support for gay marriage because we are all human beings just wanting the same thing,” he said. “Someone to love us, and the same protection and rights under the law. Everyone deserves their ‘happily ever after.’”
4. While many people showed support for the photos, one client didn’t. The client wrote Lee and told him they would no longer be using him for their upcoming wedding because he supports same-sex marriage.
5. The client wrote:
Greetings Brentwood. We would just like to inform you we will NOT be using your services for out [sic] wedding. My fiancé and I support traditional marriage between a man and a woman and don’t want our money going to places that supports [sic] otherwise. Secondly I would like to inquire about how we can get our retainer back from you. Thanks.
6. Lee posted his killer response to the couple as well:
Wow, I’m not really sure what to say here. I would say this disappoints me, but I actually find this to be a good thing because our company now would now not like to work with you as well.
It’s not that because you have a different view from us, but it’s because, since you don’t like an support gay marriage, no one else should be able to have it. That’s like me not liking broccoli, and demanding that everyone else in the world should not have broccoli either! If you’re not in favor of gay marriage that’s fine, don’t marry a woman.
Personally, I was taught not to judge others and to love everyone else. So I will try not to judge you here and say anything more as to my opinion of you.
At Brentwood Photography we see love in all forms. Now as far as your retainer goes, I hope you’ll read the first article in the contract you signed stating that this retainer is nonrefundable.
But don’t you worry, I’m not going to keep it!
Because of this conversation, I have decided to donate your $1500 to GLAD [sic] [the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation], a group created to help and support gay rights.
So let me be the first to say [redacted], thank you very much for your donation and support for this great cause!
I couldn’t have done it without your money.
Sincerely and with Love,
8. But some people have sent him hate mail. Lee said he is sure he will lose clients for his post, but he doesn’t care.
Lee said the messages have been mostly positive, and he knows he did the right thing.
“I think it’s truly beautiful the amount of positive messages and words of encouragement I have received; it has been about 90% positive and 10% gut-wrenching, sad personal attacks,” he said. “The hate that comes out of these people’s mouths make me want to cry, but the 90% give me the strength to stay strong and not doubt what I did.”
He added that he wants to make it clear the client signed a contract stating that the deposit was nonrefundable.
“I had a few people call me a crook, and say that I should give the money back, but they don’t seem to understand that the retainer is paid for and there to protect us,” he said.
10. He also shared with BuzzFeed News the client’s original response to his message.
11. The amount of people the post has reached has been overwhelming, he said.
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