Long after the story filled the pages of many U.S. papers, the incident between the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky and two heterosexual males claiming to be a same-sex couple finally became clear. What was essentially thought to be an act of discrimination was, in fact, an effort on part of the Creation Museum to foil a plan cooked up by the duo several weeks prior to the event.
During the weeks leading to the episode, security got word that blogger and self–identified “rabble rouser” Joe Sonka had plans to disrupt those in attendance when he called on his followers to “get to work doing a fundraiser so we can send the most flamboyantly gay couple imaginable to this dinner.” When blog-mate Jonathan Meador showed up to go into the museum, security became suspicious after Meador explained that his partner was running late and would be joining the party a little later. To be sure they were not the instigators, security asked Meador a few more questions only to find that he was, in fact, waiting for Sonka.
It is the policy of the Creation Museum to welcome all visitors – regardless of their beliefs. They assert the museum argues “unapologetically […] a biblical worldview that is largely excluded from public schools, secular museums, and the media.” And because of the magnitude of the museum’s scientific claims, they “truly hope that people will be open-minded enough to consider learn[ing] about an alternative perspective that is largely discriminated against in society.”
This was not just a random attempt to test the museum. The threat comes at a time when Kentuckians are faced with the construction of a $150 million theme park centered on Noah’s Ark. The state has decided to allot the builders, who have close ties to the Creation Museum, with $40 million in tax incentives because it will bring in 900 jobs to the area.
Knowing the company’s connection with the Creation Museum, one of Sonka’s followers suggested that he “get a number of gay/lesbian couples to go and not cause trouble. If they are ejected […] the resulting publicity might hurt tax incentives offered to the Ark theme park.”
Although the commenter’s suggestion is not a replica of the incident that took place, the damage was done after the USA Today led with the headline “Gay couple shut out of Creation Museum date night,” spurring the rest of American media to follow suit. Driving the stake even further is the time that it has taken to run the story’s correction. And as it stands, the truth has yet to be realized by the majority of the general public.