Church hosting card shower for same-sex recipients of hate mail

Same-sex couple receives hate-filled wedding R.S.V.P.
Published: Apr. 15, 2016 at 4:58 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2016 at 1:19 PM EDT
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Keith and Chad won't let a hate-filled letter derail their wedding. (Source: WOIO)
Keith and Chad won't let a hate-filled letter derail their wedding. (Source: WOIO)

CANTON, OH (WOIO) - A same-sex couple less than a month away from getting married received an act of hate in the mail that seemingly came out of nowhere.

The Canton couple sent out wedding invitations for family and people they thought were friends.

But an RSVP they got back was a horrible lesson in hate.

Keith and Chad of Canton were counting down the days until their wedding -- just 30 days to go -- when they got a letter in the mail.

"So I opened it up, I saw it, I read it and I was like it's almost got to be a joke, it doesn't seem real," Keith said.

"You have sent an invitation to the wrong people," the letter reads.

"It's not normal for two men to marry. What is wrong with you, it's a sin!!!!"

The letter was typed and unsigned. The envelope had no return address on it.

Click on the photo to read the full letter.

The sender said invitations were forwarded to an anti-gay group which would protest at their wedding.

"I guess we thought we knew the people that were coming and we didn't know that well," Keith said.

Keith and Chad met nine years ago. They can't wait to get married this May.

"A happy occasion. It's something we waited a long time for, we honestly never thought we'd be able to do it," Chad said.

They poured their hearts into this wedding.

"Our colors are gold and blue," Keith said.

They've painted decorations and hand-made gifts. They even built a cake stand.

They won't let this letter ruin their wedding.

"Never even crossed my mind -- I never even thought about canceling and quite frankly, other than our initial shock of the letter this made us both want to do it more," Keith said.

Now they're left narrowing down their guest list, trying to figure out who sent them this letter. But the support they got from all of the other guests and even strangers after they posted the letter online has been overwhelming.

"This letter we received yesterday is more of a reason to move forward with it. Love will win in the end, that's what it comes down to," Chad said.

Keith and Chad have not changed their wedding date or venue and the wedding will go on as planned.

It's on private property, so they say if protesters show up, they're not getting in.

UPDATE: New Vision UCC in Canton -- self-described as an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ -- is hosting a card shower for Chad and Keith. Letters of support can be sent to the address below:

New Vision United Church of Christ
3129 Market Ave North, Canton, Ohio 44714
Attn: Chad and Keith

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