Every time we get into this nonsense about people citing their religious beliefs as a way to deny services from their public business The Gays — like bakers and photographers who refuse to cater to gay couples and their weddings — I always say that I wished businesses who choose discrimination would post a Straight Only sign in their window so that we, The Gays and The Gay Friendlies, would know where we can shop.
But, on the heels of Mississippi’s passage of the, ahem, Religious restoration Act — which is an oh so purty way of saying ‘Don’t Serve The Gays’ — bill, many businesses are displaying signs in their windows, only they aren’t Straights Only.
In a new movement that started in Jackson, Mississippi’s Fondren neighborhood, many business owners are pasting ‘If You're Buying, We're Selling’ decals — which feature a not-so-subtle Rainbow Flag stripe — on their windows.
The ‘If You’re Buying …’ campaign is built around opposition to the Religious Restoration Act — because religion needs to be restored, I guess — which proponents claim would only raise the burden government has to meet before denying someone's right to practice their religious beliefs. Opponents of the bill say that increasing that burden could open the door for businesses to refuse service to customers whose lifestyles, or orientation, clash with an owner's religion.
Eddie Outlaw, who owns William Wallace Salon and Fondren Barber Shop — and whose response to the bill was posted on this blog last week … see it HERE — was part of the creative team behind ‘If You're Buying …, with Mitchell Moore, who owns Campbell's Bakery in Fondren.
"A lot of us were trying to counter the negative stuff from outside Mississippi. We wanted to let people know—not just the LGBT community but the progressive community as a whole—that this doesn't represent everybody here."—Eddie Outlaw
And the campaign was born. Joce Pritchett, of LGBT advocacy group Equality Mississippi who is producing the displays, says, "We've got 500 printed already, and we'll make more when we need them."
As I said, if you don’t want to serve The Gays you should tell me, or, if you want to serve everybody equally, tell me that, too, and I’ll patronize your business.
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