A BUNDABERG photographer has been criticised after she cancelled a couples photo shoot when she discovered the clients were a gay couple.
Rebecca Schulte of Rose Drop Photography was approached by Luke Brandt who wanted to book in a shoot with partner Sean Miller to celebrate his birthday and their two-year anniversary.
"I saw Rose Drop Photography advertising a deal on Facebook so I decided to get in contact with the photographer at the start of this week," Mr Brandt said.
"She booked everything including a day, time and location and it was all sorted."
Ms Schulte however later discovered the couple she would be photographing was gay and cancelled, citing religious beliefs.
She subsequently apologised to Mr Brandt and told the NewsMail she would no longer offer couples shoots to anyone to be consistent.
Mr Brandt said he was shocked when Ms Schulte contacted him and cancelled his booking.
"It makes me feel upset and kind of angry," he said.
It makes me feel upset and kind of angry.
"It is hard to believe that in this day and age there are people who are still like that. My partner is quite angry about it as well.
Ms Schulte informed Mr Brandt of her decision via Facebook.
"I just realised your profile picture. I mean no disrespect but I am very sorry I cannot do the photo shoot for you," she wrote.
"The only reason is as I am religious, we personally appreciate the Bible as it says God made men and women to be together. I am trying to apply the Bible's guidelines, as in my beliefs."
"I am very sorry, I do not mean to be rude to you, it's only my personal beliefs. I hope you can understand. I hope you find someone else who can help you. Have a great week."
Mr Brandt said he had been stunned when he received the message.
What do you think?
This poll ended on 20 March 2015.
No one has the right to discriminate - his photos should have been taken - 56%
It's fair for a person to not do a job on religious grounds - 43%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"I have experienced discrimination before but I have never been reused service from a professional.
"She was polite in the sense that what she was saying wasn't rude, it was just the way she said it. I think she could have gone about it a different way. The way she handled cancelling my appointment was completely wrong."
The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 declares it unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their sexual orientation.
In a statement to the NewsMail Ms Schulte said she had not realised she was discriminating against Mr Brandt and his partner until after she cancelled the photo shoot and she had then sent him an email to further apologise.
"I sent him an email apologising for discriminating as I really did not mean to.
"In the email I also promised him that I will never again offer another service that I couldn't offer to everyone due to my own beliefs.
"I honestly have nothing against other people's sexuality, it was only the fact that I would be personally photographing them.
"I have therefore stopped taking any more bookings now that I have realised that I cannot deny people a service due to my own faith, I did not mean any disrespect and I really am sorry."
Mr Brandt said he would look for another photographer and was unsure if he would make a complaint to the Anti Discrimination Commission.
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