ST. PETERSBURG -- A St. Petersburg-based wedding photographer is getting international attention after a client dropped him for showing his support of gay marriage.
Clinton Brentwood Lee said he changed the profile picture on his business Facebook page to show a rainbow flag following Friday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage.
"You know I wanted to show my support for everybody in the community because people are people to me and I think everybody should be celebrated," Lee said.
He said he was shocked when an unnamed client contacted him to cancel his services for her upcoming wedding.
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Lee said the woman wrote, "My fiance and I support traditional marriage between a man and a woman and don't want our money going to places that support otherwise."
He said she also asked for the $1,500 retainer back.
"My reply first off was, 'I don't know what to say,'" he said.
Lee said he was not contractually obligated to return the money.
Instead, he informed the former client that he would be donating it to GLADD -- a gay advocacy group.
Lee said some people have criticized him calling him a "crook" and agreeing with the couple's decision to cancel. But he said most of the responses he's gotten have been supportive.
"Somebody saying if companies like yours had taken a stance when I was a kid I might not have felt so different and wouldn't have tried to commit suicide or you've helped me, you've made me feel proud to be who I am," he used as examples.
The story has gone viral with mentions on media outlets like BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post.
Lee said he's already gotten more than 400 new friend requests on Facebook and his business page has been "liked" by thousands of people.
As he gets ready to move his photography studio to a new location in St. Pete, Lee said he welcomes everyone's business.
He said his job as a photographer is about celebrating love.