PUBLISHED: 10:07 EST, 19 May 2012 | UPDATED: 10:20 EST, 19 May 2012
- Newlyweds Tawana Williams and Stacy Baker were enjoying honeymoon in Las Vegas
- Friend called to tell them house was on fire
- Police treating arson as hate crime
- Same-sex marriage banned in Michigan in 2004
A newly-married lesbian couple enjoying their honeymoon in Las Vegas were in for a nasty shock when one of them received a call from a friend, informing her that their Detroit-area house was engulfed in flame.
Tawana Williams, who recently married same-sex partner Stacy Baker, said that their mobile home was ignited on purpose and could be a hate crime.
Early investigations corroborate her story, as police found accelerant throughout the house, and homophobic slurs written on the walls throughout their house.
Bad wedding gift: Tawana Williams said a friend called her while she was on her honeymoon to say her house was burning
Up in smoke: One witness took this picture obtained by My Fox Detroit
Ms Williams said all of her belongings, as well as her new wife’s, were in the Novi, Michigan house.
‘Our wedding gifts are still in there. My gown…is still in there,’ she told Fox 2 News in Detroit
For the moment, the couple is staying at a nearby motel. Affirmations, a local community centre for LBGT, is volunteering to help pay for some of the costs.
It is unknown whether they had insurance on their home.
Though rightly concerned over the arson, Ms Williams said she’ll ‘pray for whoever did this to us.’
Novi police are currently investigating the alleged arson, and are offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can offer information on the crime.
What’s left: Williams’ wedding dress and gifts are still inside, as are all of the couple’s belongings
Next step: Williams and her bride, Stacy Baker, are currently living in a motel
According to the Michigan state constitution, same-sex couples are barred from marrying in the state.
The constitution was amended in 2004, and defines marriage existing only between a man and a woman.
The couple’s friend, Lisa Harvin, told the Oakland Press that Ms Williams and Ms Baker live quietly and peacefully in the neighbourhood.
‘They’re really nice people,’ she told the paper. ‘It’s nobody’s nobody’s business what they do.’
The city of Novi, with a population of about 55,000, is located 25 miles northwest of Detroit and 29 miles northeast of Ann Arbor.