An East London lesbian couple planning to get married have been turned away by a local wedding venue for “religious reasons,” reports The Daily Dispatch newspaper.

Carole van der Berg and Helen Ross, a couple of 13 years, approached the Country Style Catering and Venue outside East London as the location for their wedding, and initially seemed to be welcomed.

However after, visiting the establishment and planning the menu, they were told that they could not go ahead with the event because the owners’ religion forbids same-sex wedding.

The owners have told the newspaper that they belong to the Jehovah Witness church and as such cannot proceed with the wedding at their venue.

A constitutional law expert has urged the couple to take the matter to the equality court, explaining that it is illegal for businesses to refuse a service on the basis of sexual orientation.

“For the past 13 years I have been with my soul mate, I have never been discriminated against or been judged as they did to us,” Van der Berg said.

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