Gay activists aim to shut down Oregon health food store over owner’s support for true marriage
PORTLAND, OR, April 8, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A soon-to-be opened natural foods store in Oregon is in danger of never opening its doors after homosexual activists publicized remarks its Mormon owner made online supporting true marriage and organized a boycott targeting not just the store, but its suppliers.
Chauncy Childs had planned to open Moreland Farmers Pantry, an organic, locally-sourced grocery store, in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland. But because of comments she made under a pseudonym during a discussion on Facebook last year in which she defended true marriage and said business owners should have the right to refuse to serve gay weddings, homosexual activists have threatened her entire supply chain with boycotts unless they agree to pull their products from her shelves.
“Here is a current list of Moreland Farmers Pantry vendors, from their website. We will be posting their contact information shortly,” the boycott organizers wrote on Facebook. “If you’re a vendor on this list, who has pulled your product from their shelves, please let us know and you will be removed from this list.”
Local pro-homosexual activist Sean O’Riordan, whose late brother died of AIDS and whose wife is bisexual, first publicized Childs’ comments, which were posted under the alias Lynn Brice. In a YouTube video, O’Riordan went through a list of things Childs posted that he found offensive, and urged people to boycott her store.
Among the comments that offended O’Riordan:
There are real repercussions to redefining marriage, serious ones, and they have everything to do with equality and respect and the traditional, God-given right of the citizens of this country. We are throwing the baby out with the bath water in order to satisfy a minority who are militant and bent on more than "justice."
It causes me the greatest sadness to see our country so divided, our civilized society so ripped at the seams because of the intolerance of religion and morality and the rule of law, and the will of the people as in the case of Prop. 8, a legally voted upon statute upheld by the citizens of the state of California and then struck down by a few activist judges. It is wrong, and it is destroying us.
Yes, I am a Christian. I believe the Bible. I do not support homosexuality or homosexual ‘marriage.’ Yes, I still love you. Yes, we are still friends. No, I am not judging you. No, I am not condemning you to hell. No, I will not let anyone bully you. But realize that name-calling and stereotyping those of us who stand for what we believe is exactly what you don’t want done to you.
On a Facebook group supporting the boycott, O’Riordan’s wife, Rachael Stephens, explained, “We were all excited about this cool new store going in until the rumor mill started. People started googling, mrs child's fb [sic] page came up and her posts were found offensive by many. Rumors were circulating, people wanted to know what was true and what could be done.”
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“My husband, Sean O’Riordan stepped up for our community, our neighborhood, our friends, for me who represents the B in LGBT, for his dearly departed brother who was gay and because he has a working moral compass. He made the video to inform, squash rumors and allow people to decide whether or not they want to shop there based on FACTS, not rumor, that he so concisely laid out in the video.”
The boycott supporters’ actions have been compared to those who supported the ouster of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich earlier this month after it was discovered he had made a $1,000 contribution to support California’s Proposition 8 in 2008.
Like Eich, Childs assured her detractors that her personal religious beliefs will have no bearing on the way she runs her business, and that homosexuals will be as welcome to shop and work at her store as anyone else. Childs even donated $1,000 to a local gay organization as a gesture of goodwill, and encouraged others to do the same.
But that wasn’t enough for the activists who want her store shut down.
“It's too late Chauncy. Cut your ties with our community and leave,” read one particularly blunt post by the administrators of the “Boycott Moreland Farmers Pantry” Facebook page.
“One donation is one step,” wrote boycott supporter Kelly Burke. “But time and future actions will tell if that step was towards a true embracing of others or just a step to quiet the negative attention. We all have a choice how we spend our time and money. Mine will be spent elsewhere until there is a long track record - one as well documented as her intolerant views - that proves she acts otherwise.”
Another boycott supporter, Amanda Brewer Valley, said that she “would like to see them donate a portion of their proceeds to LGBTQ youth organizations in perpetuity.” But she added, “I am still not shopping there.”
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