Couple banned from church because they're an inter-racial couple, says family

(CNN) -- A Kentucky woman has been banned from her church because of who she wants to marry.

When she announced her upcoming wedding, the church members voted to prohibit interracial couples from joining the church.

"It's racist. That's all you can call it." Those are the words from Dean Harville, who is living it first-hand.

The church he's attended for more than 30 years and rasied his family in has taken issue with his daughter Suzie and her black fiance, Tichna Chikuni, who is originally from Zinbabwe. Dean says, "I treat him like he's my own son. You won't find a nicer person."

The couple that met in college recently attended services at Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church.

The small country church in Pike County, Kentucky (about 15 miles north of Pikeville) is the church Suzie grew up in. Suzie played the piano and Tichna sang.

Dean says, "The pastor came up and told me, while I was counting the church offering, Suzie and her boyfriend is not allowed to sing in this church anymore. He said, 'Furthermore Suzie can take her fellow back where she found him at.'"

Then, a policy was voted on and approved by the congregation, banning inter-racial couples from joining the church or having any role in their services.

Suzie says, "It's just a travesty. They've crossed the line in revoking my fiancé and I's right to worship in a public place."

It's a policy not sitting well with the majority of the community.

Media outlets have attempted to contact the church for comment, but calls have not been returned.


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