After SCOTUS Ruling, Shop Posts 'No Gays Allowed'

'I don't want them around me,' says hardware store owner Jeff Amyx
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2015 12:55 PM CDT
After SCOTUS Ruling, Shop Posts 'No Gays Allowed'
The original sign proclaiming "No Gays Allowed" is shown on the left; the new sign put up yesterday morning is shown on the right.   (WATE)

While many celebrated Friday's SCOTUS decision to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states, one Tennessee store owner wasn't flying any rainbow banners. Instead, Jeff Amyx—a "self-described 'blunt' man," per the New York Daily News—put a different sign up Monday at Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies: one that proclaimed "No Gays Allowed," reports WBIR. "They gladly stand for what they believe in, why can't I?" he tells the station, adding to WVLT, "I don't want them around me. … People say 'you need to accept them.' … I don't have to." He tells WATE that he's heard both support and criticism in response. "A lot of people have called me and congratulated me," he says, conceding others are "threatening me. Telling me I would regret this. No, I'll never regret this." One person not congratulating him: the state's ACLU, whose director said in a statement, "Businesses that are open to the public should be open to everyone on the same terms."

Amyx originally noted to WBIR he had zero intention of taking the sign down, but he did yesterday morning, per WVLT, replacing it with a slightly less-vitriolic message: "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion." He continues, saying, "Would you let a child molester come in your home, around your kids? Of course not. So why would I let a homosexual hang around me? ... It's against my way of life, it's against my religion." As noted by Inquistr, some are calling him out on WKYC's Facebook page. One commenter notes, "Ok enough already. I am a … conservative Christian. I'll admit i was saddened by the SCOTUS ruling. But seriously [sic]???? Gay and lesbian couples are against your religion???What does that even mean? Are gluttons and adulterers and drunks and liars and slanderers allowed in your store?" (More Tennessee stories.)

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