The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week was met with great excitement nationwide. But also with a pinch of salt here and there.
A story emerged from Gainger County were a hardware store owner posted a sign in the window stating: “No Gays Allowed”. Of course, the matter of same-sex marriage is far from not sparking any more heated conflicts in communities across the U.S.
So the episode has done the same. Pour fuel over the fire. The store in the story is Amyx Hardware, located in Washburn. Asked by the press for comments, the owner stated that the sign was posted according to his constitutional right to freedom of speech, as well as freedom of religion.
Reactions across the Washburn community have been split. According to the Amyx Hardware owner, people called the store to congratulate his stance. Others have called to make threats or ask the owner to take the sign down.
“Other calls are on the other side of the spectrum. People calling and threatening me. Telling me I would regret this. No, I’ll never regret this”, he commented.
Freedom of speech and freedom of religion can be double-edged swords in this case. For the Amyx Hardware owner, posting this sign is a suggestion for the customers and others that pass it by that there are Christians that are making a serious stand.
In a little milder tone, the sign changed from ‘No Gays Allowed’ to ‘We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion’.
How would the Amyx Hardware personnel even know that the customers are gay? It’s beyond anyone’s understanding. In the Washburn community, there are people who believe the sign in harmless and indeed, an indication that in that property, the owner’s will should be respected.
However, there are others who believe it goes beyond the constitutional invoked freedoms. Hedy Weinberg, who is the director of the American Civil Liberties Union Tennessee chapter stated:
“Gay and lesbian people are our neighbors, coworkers, family members and friends. When it comes to being able to be served by a business, they should be treated like anyone else. Religion should not be used as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people.”
But the owner of Amyx Hardware in Washburn, Tennessee, is unmoved by these arguments. In his understanding, it is not the people that the sign goes against, it is the sin.
Until someone comes to tell him that what he is doing is impeding on someone’s liberties and freedoms, the sign will stay up.
Image Source: reverbpress.com