The religious owner of a jewelry store in Newfoundland, Canada, is being forced to defend himself following a public attack by a lesbian couple that bought a set of rings from the business. According to recent reports, Nicole White and Pam Renouf were encouraged to visit Today’s Jewellers when they were in the market for engagement rings. At that time, there was no apparent disagreement between the customers and retailer; and both women put money down on their purchases and left satisfied.
White and Renouf were apparently so pleased with the experience that they recommended the shop to others – an act that ultimately resulted in the current controversy. At some point since their purchase, the women heard from a friend who visited the store on their referral that the owner had hung a sign defending traditional marriage.
“The sanctity of marriage is under attack,” the sign said. “Let’s keep marriage between a man and a woman.”
White said that, despite her positive experience as a customer, she was incensed upon hearing that such a sign would be hung in a public place.
“It was really upsetting,” she complained, suggesting the sign showed “how much they are against gays, and how they think marriage should be between a man and a woman.”
The couple has subsequently demanded a refund, a request co-owner Esau Jardon granted. Nevertheless, the backlash his business received from local media has forced him to respond. Some of the backlash, he said, has come in the form of direct threats against the business and its owners.
Jardon defended the sign, insisting it is in no way a prohibited form of expression and does not imply any discriminatory beliefs on his part.
He concluded that he feels “really bad” about the customers’ hurt feeling, though he declared “we will not retract from what we believe.”
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth