Sean O’Riordan’s sentiments apparently capture the mood of more than a few in his neighborhood who’d been looking forward to the opening of Moreland Farmer’s Pantry, which trumpets fresh produce, raw milk, and non-GMO foods.
“People were then starting to say, ‘Did you see the owner’s Facebook page?” O’Riordan told KGW-TV in Portland.
Then O’Riordan got an eyeful of the store owner’s posts that came against gays and same-sex marriage — and he decided to do something about it.
So he created a YouTube video highlighting Chauncy Childs’s posts, including an article she referenced titled, “Yes, of course a business owner should have the right to refuse service to gay people.”
O’Riordan admitted that his gay brother died of AIDS, which raises his sensitivity to LGBT issues.
“He was loyal to a fault and would do anything for you,” O’Riordan told KGW of his brother, his voice choking up. “He was persecuted because he was gay, and it’s not alright. It’s not alright.”
Chauncy Childs has been planning to open her natural foods store this coming week, but the controversy over her posts has added to the stress.
While Childs said that “a private business has the right” to deny services, she wouldn never do that to any gay customer.
“Absolutely not,” Childs told KGW. “Absolutely, unequivocally, totally not.”
More than that, Childs has a message for her neighbors who are gay and for potential customers who may have views different from hers.
“I would say that I’m sorry to the people who I have offended,” Childs told KGW. “I genuinely feel that way and I hope we can make amends.”
To that end, Childs said Moreland Farmer’s Pantry donated $1,000 to the LGBTQ Youth program of the Equity Foundation in Portland as a “gesture of goodwill.”
Here’s the full statement:
You may be aware that the media has been asking questions about the personal opinions of the owners regarding gay marriage and freedom of expression. We understand that this is a sensitive topic for many. We would like to reiterate our position that we will not discriminate against anyone in any form. We support diversity and anti-discrimination in all business practices. As a gesture of goodwill we donated $1,000 to the LGBTQ Youth program of the Equity Foundation in Portland. This program supports safe communities for LGBTQ individuals where sexual orientation and gender identity should not be the basis for social alienation or legal discrimination. We encourage others to make additional donations to this worthy cause at: Equity Foundation
While we understand that we may not share the same viewpoints on all issues, we support freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Our beliefs are not necessarily shared by our employees; their beliefs are their own, as it should be. The employees are a diverse group of people working together with a common goal to simply provide good nutritious food to the Portland community and support local farms and vendors.
The Pantry is open to everyone from all walks of life.
Featured image via KGW-TV
(H/T: The Gateway Pundit)