Missouri Lesbian Couple Claims Discrimination After Being Denied Dance Classes

A lesbian couple says they were turned away from dance lessons at a Des Peres, Missouri dance studio, ABC 17 reports.

Michelle King and Mandy Shelton are engaged, so Shelton bought the couple dance lessons on Groupon at Dave Thompson’s Prestige Ballroom. The lessons were a Christmas gift from Shelton to King for their upcoming wedding.

When the couple went to redeem the Groupon, they say Thompson refused to accept it because they are a same-sex couple.

According to the couple, Thompson claimed that the straight people in the room would feel awkward with a lesbian couple, as they don’t have accommodations for same-sex couples to dance.

While Prestige touts that they “love to share dance with everyone they meet,” and promote wedding dance lessons repeatedly on their website, there is no mention on not accepting same-sex couples.

Shelton says that it was absolutely discrimination.

The next day, the couple received a call from St. Louis Equality Dance, an all volunteer group of dancers dedicated to teaching same-sex ballroom and Latin dance in the St. Louis area.

“They said that David referred us to them,” Shelton said. “Well, I didn’t pay for you. I paid for Prestige.”

The couple asked Thompson if the rejection is due to faith based values that the company has, to which he allegedly said, “That has nothing to do with that.”

Missouri does not ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, housing and public accomodation, but St. Louis County – which includes Des Peres – does.

Thompson and Prestige Ballroom have denied to comment on the situation, citing ongoing legal council pertaining to the incident.

The couple took this issue to Groupon and they have issued them a full refund.

“I just hope on our wedding day we can dance our heart[s] out,” King said.

Photo: Screen Grab/ABC 17