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“We choose not to work for homosexuals.”
November 11, 2006 9:18 AM   Subscribe

“Treating you with respect and honesty are the cornerstones of our reputation.” --unless you're gay, that is, for a Houston landscaper. Step 1: Turn down 2 gay customers. Step 2: Watch furor ensue. Step 3: Profit (to the tune of $40,000 in new business)
posted by amberglow (141 comments total)

 
and from some of the local response: “It seems to me the Farbers must be a little naïve,” a letter writer, Joseph Carroll, wrote The Chronicle. “Don’t they realize they are probably doing business with homosexuals every day? They should check out their pharmacist, hair dresser, bank teller, the nurse at their doctor’s office, the waiter at their favorite restaurant and the church secretary.”
posted by amberglow at 9:19 AM on November 11, 2006


Especially the hair dresser and nurse. Oh man!
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:25 AM on November 11, 2006


No! Not the hair dresser too!

I saw the "we choose not to work with homosexuals" email forwarded to a listserv I'm on a little while ago but ignored it because I thought it didn't ring true. Clearly I was giving people too much credit.
posted by veggieboy at 9:26 AM on November 11, 2006


liberal activist judges already force this nice couple to work for Negroes, at least there is no such protection for the uranists
posted by matteo at 9:28 AM on November 11, 2006


If this is true-to-form for their presumed political affiliation, the husband half of the landscaping business is deeply closeted anyway.
posted by maxwelton at 9:28 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


People with a sexual orientation are not a protected class., so write your new lawmakers to make sure this becomes an issue they should deal with positively in the next two years.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:30 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


They don't want to be caught trimming the bushes of gays.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:35 AM on November 11, 2006


As opposed to people without a sexual orientation?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:35 AM on November 11, 2006


I'm glad the Farbers did what they did, if only because of the wealth of euphemisms available to the snarking class:

trimming their shrubs
mulching their beds
clipping their hedges
aerating their loam
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:36 AM on November 11, 2006


And of course, sucking their hoses. Is that something gardeners do?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:37 AM on November 11, 2006


“My husband made a personal choice, according to something he felt in his heart. It was never a judgmental choice or a hating choice or even a choice that said, ‘Well, we’re better than them.’ ”

No, you're right. Your husband feels homosexuals are going to hell and ruining marriage. That's not hateful or judgmental at all.

What bugs me is all this has just gotten them a ton of new business. "Oh, we weren't really thinking of hiring you until we found out you were a bigot! Can you do my lawn next Saturday?"
posted by chrominance at 9:46 AM on November 11, 2006


shouldn't the hardcore capitalists be fighting these schmucks? Isn't putting capricious shit like this ahead of making a buck some kind of crime against nature to them? Where are ya, fat cats?
posted by jonmc at 9:46 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


The original email is here. When this happened it was on most of the local news shows and in the papers. It saddens me to think they are now making money from other bigots.

But it may have played a small part among many other reasons in a small political shift in the area by motivating a few people who blow off voting to actually vote. Tom Delay's former district where the Garden Guy lives was won by a Democrat. That may be short lived, but for the moment it is sweet.

And while they may report getting more business, they are probably getting angry emails, phone calls and letters daily that aren't pleasant. If that's any consolation.
posted by dog food sugar at 9:51 AM on November 11, 2006


Not that there's anything right with that.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:55 AM on November 11, 2006


shouldn't the hardcore capitalists be fighting these schmucks?

I don't speak for every hardcore capitalist, but I feel that it's their right to run their business as they choose. Usually, excluding people isn't a good business strategy but in this case, it appears otherwise. If this turn of events is typical of Texas, it sounds to me like a good reason for more federalism. It would be ideal if the 10% of Texans who aren't morons would pack up and go, leaving the nitwits to enjoy their slow decline.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:57 AM on November 11, 2006


I really hate intolerant people.
posted by imperium at 9:57 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


I call B.S. on their business claims. No way a Houston landscaping business gets $40k in business (on top of what they would normally get) in only three weeks. "Hey look, this company doesn't like gays -- let's have them build us a hedge maze!"
posted by brain_drain at 9:58 AM on November 11, 2006


Yeah, but you don't want to go before God with any dirty homo money. Can't get into heaven that way, jonmc.
posted by Talanvor at 9:58 AM on November 11, 2006


As opposed to people without a sexual orientation?

Well, I see your point, but let's put it this way: people who have gay sex are often labeled "gay" to the exclusion of all other labels. If you're not having straight sex, then the normals often define your existence exclusively by your sexual orientation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:00 AM on November 11, 2006


How did I know this happened in Texas before I even clicked the link? Can we break the United Republic of Retardistan off the US and let those Texassholes run their own country of intolerance and racism?

But I guess its all okay because they got alot more business from similarly minded assholes who think discrimination based on sexual orientation is totally cool. I wonder what they would have done if they had Ted Haggard's landscaping contract? Oooh moral dilemma!

dog food sugar, I would think they see the angry emails as part of the vast wing queer conspiracy to hate on straights and dismiss it as noise.
posted by fenriq at 10:01 AM on November 11, 2006


United Republic of Retardistan

I thought that was Florida!
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:02 AM on November 11, 2006


I have to say this: at least these Texan clowns are courageous enough to be up front about their hatred of gay people.

My partner and I were sitting in Rittenhouse Square this morning drinking coffee, minding our own business, when these two fundamentalists came up and were holding out a fake $10,000,000 bill to us. They asked, "Do you want to read the big question printed on the back of this bill?" I replied, "What's the question?", to which I was given the answer, "Are you going to hell?"

Needless to say, we sent them on their way. Worse than hateful people are manipulative, hateful, game-playing people who think they are being clever about trying to warp your mind with their bigotry.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:07 AM on November 11, 2006


fenrig:...they see the angry emails as part of the vast wing queer conspiracy.... and dismiss it...

Yes they do. The wife has said as much in the media. But just the same it must add a lot of stress to their lives despite that smug defense. I too call bullshit on their claim of that amount of profit.
posted by dog food sugar at 10:12 AM on November 11, 2006


thirteenkiller, maybe Texass is the United Republic of Racistan then? I have a hard time keeping all the haters straight (and I'm they have a hard time staying straight!).
posted by fenriq at 10:13 AM on November 11, 2006


I don't know if it saddens me that they're now making more money from other bigots. It seems an interesting twist to the "all-female ____" and "gay ____" businesses that seemed to sprout up everywhere a few years back, seeking to profit off of certain demographics and their politics.

I certainly wouldn't want to see a "proud radial tire distributor of the KKK" appear in my neighbourhood, but I suppose that's the right of any business owner -- to declare a social/political affiliation and reap or suffer the consequences.

That being said, I'm talking about a statement of philosophy, not a civil rights breaching denial of service. (as it would be in Canada -- not so in the U.S.??)

Isn't putting capricious shit like this ahead of making a buck some kind of crime against nature to them?

Bigotry can be a smart business decision. Why, decades back, you could guarantee your diner good business by turning away blacks, Hispanics, and others. I mean, since when is capitalism anything more than pandering to the largest base? Otherwise known as the LCD.

"Hey look, this company doesn't like gays -- let's have them build us a hedge maze!"

Maybe it's BS, but it's certainly possible. An awful lot of market corruption results not from creating projects from thin air but influencing who gets the contracts for projects already planned. $40k in new contracts is hardly unbelievable if a company were to do something to attract the attention of new clients.
posted by dreamsign at 10:14 AM on November 11, 2006


Presumably they'd refuse jobs from Jews as well, if only the guy wasn't Jewish himself.
posted by milnak at 10:17 AM on November 11, 2006


Now now now... We Floridians purged Katherine Harris from any future political race, and we had a pretty good showing for Jim Webb.

Admittedly, NORFLA is a little too red for my liking.

This one really gets me... The state constitutional amendment requiring broader support for amendments and revisions passed with a lower percentage of votes... than the amendment requires of future initiatives.

Which really means.... that I must retract my objection.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 10:18 AM on November 11, 2006


It would be ideal if the 10% of Texans who aren't morons would pack up and go, leaving the nitwits to enjoy their slow decline.

10%! Man, you're generous. When was the last time you went to Texas? You want to find the epicenter of stupid surrounded by a the mote of incompetence that floats on the sea of "duh"... go to the Kinkos in Houston that shares a parking lot with WalMart.

There is so much stupid there it distorts the fabric of space. That and the millions of EXTREMELY fat people that strain the ability of earths crust to support cities.

If I feel like a super-genius there... you KNOW the place is in poor shape.

The irony of this story is one the hot growth market is appealing to gay folks exclusively. In Seattle there are businesses like the HOMeOwner Real-estate company! As well as clients of mine such as Restaurants and Resorts that cater to gays. They are making huge bucks. Teh Gays got the disposable income. I heart teh Gays.
posted by tkchrist at 10:19 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but you don't want to go before God with any dirty homo money. Can't get into heaven that way, jonmc.

But as a wise man once said, your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore.

I don't speak for every hardcore capitalist, but I feel that it's their right to run their business as they choose.

So, if they didn't want to work for black people or jews, you'd say the same thing? I doubt it.

And despite an initial surge from vocal homophobes (and anybody homophobic enough to waste their time with this has issues, IMHO), I believe that gayfolk, their sympathizers, and the utterly indifferent outnumber these people.
posted by jonmc at 10:25 AM on November 11, 2006


They're just doing what Jesus would do. Oh, wait,
posted by found missing at 10:26 AM on November 11, 2006


Wow, what's with all the gay on Metafilter lately? Or is that the wrong question, maybe I should ask "What's with all the gay in American news lately?"
posted by arcticwoman at 10:27 AM on November 11, 2006


The Jew Speaks: what we have is a Jew who converted or accepts Christianity and on that basis dislikes homosexuality. But were he to remain Jewish, he would be pissed if a Christian said: I don't do business with Jews. Typically the convert goes--pardon--whole hog.
posted by Postroad at 10:28 AM on November 11, 2006


As opposed to people without a sexual orientation?

Möbius Strippers.
posted by weston at 10:28 AM on November 11, 2006 [5 favorites]


Why, decades back, you could guarantee your diner good business by turning away blacks, Hispanics, and others. I mean, since when is capitalism anything more than pandering to the largest base? Otherwise known as the LCD.

Somebody once asked Colonel Sanders what he honesty thought of black people. His answer: "Do they eat chicken?" Gayfolk and their sympathizers control a not insignificant amount of dollars methinks, and most capitalists I know are utterly indifferent to gayness. Hell, I imagine there's probably a fair amount of gay capitalists.
posted by jonmc at 10:29 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


So, if they didn't want to work for black people or jews, you'd say the same thing? I doubt it.

You apparently don't understand what hardcore capitalism is. Of course I'd say the same thing. Even though I find that attitude abhorrent, I don't think it ought to be prohibited. The right to free association sometimes has some unpalatable consequences, but it's hardly "free association" when the legislature tells you with whom you must associate.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:32 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Actually I would be all for places indicating right up front who they would and would not serve/ service. It would make it easier for me to avoid them.

Joe's Diner doesn't serve gays, blacks, or Jews? Well as a straight white non-Jew, they won't be serving me anymore either.
posted by quin at 10:35 AM on November 11, 2006


Again, I wonder if refusing business on the basis of sexual orientation is not illegal in the U.S.. It is in Canada -- the same as it would be to refuse on the basis of race or gender.

I think you're wrong about that, jonmc. Capitalists care about whatever makes them money. If equality makes money in Kansas, great. If bigotry makes money in Arkansas, awesome. If pro-minority politics makes money in Washington, fantastic. That's what branches are for.

If they're indifferent to gayness, it's because they don't see a financial angle in it for them, not because of some intrinsic "sexual orientation politics and money don't mix" mantra. Hence the numerous "pro-gay" businesses I and others have seen of late.
posted by dreamsign at 10:36 AM on November 11, 2006


and what quin just said.
posted by dreamsign at 10:36 AM on November 11, 2006


Joe's Diner doesn't serve gays, blacks, or Jews?

I don't want to eat a gay, a black or a Jew.
posted by jonmc at 10:37 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Wow, what's with all the gay on Metafilter lately? Or is that the wrong question, maybe I should ask "What's with all the gay in American news lately?"

Haven't you heard? The Democrats won the house and senate arcticwoman and the gays are on the loose - just like they warned us! Lock up the childrens.
posted by three blind mice at 10:38 AM on November 11, 2006


Attention MeTards: Your state has lots of bigots in it, too.

Hugs and kisses,

Texas
posted by 23skidoo at 10:39 AM on November 11, 2006 [3 favorites]


dreamsign: then the key to successful activism in a capitalistic society id to ensure that equality=profit.
posted by jonmc at 10:39 AM on November 11, 2006


I don't speak for every hardcore capitalist, but I feel that it's their right to run their business as they choose.

So, if they didn't want to work for black people or jews, you'd say the same thing? I doubt it.

That's it exactly, just replace "homosexuals" with "black people" and see how well that sits.

"We choose not to work with black people."
"We choose not to work with Jews."
"We choose not to work with seniors."

That is way more than just running your business as you choose.


I think that tkchrist has a good point though, companies that are gay-friendly or gay-oriented are doing pretty good business now because homos have just as much disposable income as hets and in many cases fewer options on where to spend it.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:40 AM on November 11, 2006


I don't want to eat a gay, a black or a Jew.

Reminds me of the joke (suitably amended):

Guy walks into a bar with an alligator and asks the bartender, "Do you serve gays in this bar?"

Bartender says, "Why, yes, sir. We serve everyone."

"Spendid. Make it a whiskey for me, and a homo for my alligator."
posted by three blind mice at 10:41 AM on November 11, 2006


After posting I see Kwatsar did answer jonmc, and you are right Kwantsar: I don't understand hardcore capitalism.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:45 AM on November 11, 2006


That's why it is so nice being from Texas originally. No matter where I go, everyone already hates you.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:45 AM on November 11, 2006


Texan is the new gay
posted by found missing at 10:46 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


"We Floridians purged Katherine Harris from any future political race, and we had a pretty good showing for Jim Webb."
Say what? You voted in the Virginia senate race? keep that quiet, please.
posted by 2sheets at 11:04 AM on November 11, 2006


dreamsign - we have no federal law against discrimination against gays, or those perceived to be gay. Only racial minorities and the handicapped have federal protection.

We have nothing the the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Landscappers...I wonder how many illegal immigrants they employ?
posted by QIbHom at 11:09 AM on November 11, 2006


Attention MeTards: Your state has lots of bigots in it, too.

Hugs and kisses,

Texas


Shut up. We just made a colored man governor.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:10 AM on November 11, 2006


Argh. We have nothing like the Charter...

No federal protection for women, either.
posted by QIbHom at 11:11 AM on November 11, 2006


weston writes "As opposed to people without a sexual orientation?

"Möbius Strippers."


Come on, people! An orientability joke? That's funny!
posted by samw at 11:12 AM on November 11, 2006


Now I'm wondering about the business effects of heralding any chess store as "Pro-Kasparov" or "Pro-Deep-Blue".

But on the serious side,

we have no federal law against discrimination against gays, or those perceived to be gay. Only racial minorities and the handicapped have federal protection.

We have nothing like the Charter...

No federal protection for women, either.


That's fucking insane. I had no idea. My knowledge of US law is severely limited. That sucks.
posted by dreamsign at 11:20 AM on November 11, 2006


10%! Man, you're generous. When was the last time you went to Texas? You want to find the epicenter of stupid surrounded by a the mote of incompetence that floats on the sea of "duh"... go to the Kinkos in Houston that shares a parking lot with WalMart.

Even though I was born a stupid Texan, I am not quite dumb enough to stand in the way of yet another freight train of anti-Texan vitriol here on the blue. Considering the idiot running this country I won't say I disagree with a good amount of the valid criticism. -BUT- having said that - allow me to say what an excellent barometer to the level of intelligence of an entire state the size of France: Hang out at a Kinko's near a Walmart - in HOUSTON (the Cleveland of Texas). One of the articles mentions this discrimination against gays is actually ILLEGAL in Dallas and Austin

My goodness you've really done your demographic homework here, why with such a first rate sample like that I'm sure you are able to extrapolate a host of other good statistics we should all pay really close attention to! In addition to this, you should really have hit the Applebee's off I-45 for a nice sample of Texas cuisine, or for some fine Gulf Coast seafood stopped in at Red Lobster for some Popcorn™ Shrimp™. And for a nice authentic Texas cowboy campfire pick-me-up, the Starbucks near Loop 8 will really get blow your chaps off, pardner!

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled Texbashing.
posted by ernie at 11:24 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


LOLZ: Rick Casey, broke the story on Oct. 20, suggesting that the Farbers “should refuse to do business with all sinners.”

So, why haven't they closed up shop yet? Fundamentalists clearly extol the rhetoric of everyone being a sinner, what with Original Sin and all that. Methinks someone in Texas is ever so slightly overlooking something.
posted by moonbird at 11:28 AM on November 11, 2006


The article missed every chance to expose the Farber's for what-else-do-they-believe. A reader would conclude they are normal in every way except for homophobia, when in fact they are desperately trying to be mistaken for normal. I would have at least asked if they both personally made the choice to be straight, and if so, if it was a difficult decision. I would inquire if they have a normal sex life, since they are claiming to know what normal sex is. I would ask them about past affiliations with hate groups or any attitudes towards others we should know about to place it in context. I would inquire as to the significance of converting to another religion, then suddenly disliking gays.
posted by Brian B. at 11:30 AM on November 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


QIbHom: Is that just in Texas, or in the whole country? Surely MOST states have federal protection for women right? And there have to be a bunch that have protection for gays, right?
posted by arcticwoman at 11:30 AM on November 11, 2006


Please tell me that the whole country doesn't allow legal discrimination on sex and sexuality...
posted by arcticwoman at 11:31 AM on November 11, 2006


"Surely MOST states have federal protection for women right? And there have to be a bunch that have protection for gays, right?"

Nope. Sorry.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:32 AM on November 11, 2006


in HOUSTON (the Cleveland of Texas).

when decrying the bashing of a state, it is unwise to bash another state to make your point. just saying.
posted by jonmc at 11:37 AM on November 11, 2006


How many folks out there would not hire this firm because of their stance?

If my potential landscaper did a little too much proseletyzing or if they started prodding to find out if I was gay, I know I'd be shopping for a new landscaper. If I actually said to them, "I'm sorry, but I refuse to do business with judgemental bigots," how does that make me any different?
posted by FYKshun at 11:41 AM on November 11, 2006


the Starbucks near Loop 8 will really get blow your chaps off, pardner!

Would they be my horse riding chaps, or my bear-my-bottom-ready-for-anal-sex chaps?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:46 AM on November 11, 2006


"bear-my-bottom"

lol, look out Colbert!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:48 AM on November 11, 2006


when decrying the bashing of a state, it is unwise to bash another state to make your point. just saying.

A state? I'm on the city level but point taken, sorry. That said I love Ohio.
posted by ernie at 11:49 AM on November 11, 2006


If my potential landscaper did a little too much proseletyzing or if they started prodding to find out if I was gay, I know I'd be shopping for a new landscaper. If I actually said to them, "I'm sorry, but I refuse to do business with judgemental bigots," how does that make me any different?

FYK - I've said it before, and I'll say it again: because tolerance of intolerance is stupid. It's a self-defeating game.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:51 AM on November 11, 2006


Indeed, Cleveland is perhaps one of two sane cities in OH.
posted by ltracey at 11:52 AM on November 11, 2006


I think Consumerist was the first to break this story last month before even the local newspapers/MSM got to it. [1,2,3]. The first link contains the original email-thread between the landscaper and the client.


It would be ideal if the 10% of Texans who aren't morons would pack up and go, leaving the nitwits to enjoy their slow decline.
Can we break the United Republic of Retardistan off the US and let those Texassholes run their own country of intolerance and racism?


You know as a foreigner living in Austin for sometime, I've always wondered whether how much of the above views are true and how much of it is just conventional wisdom. I've not travelled much around countryside, so I don't have a fair idea. Frankly, in my year+ stay here, only once have I faced a racial slurs by two drunk teenagers.

Ofcourse I do know that Austin is one of the bluest cities right in the heart of redland, and I've always wondered that too. How can one city, in the midst of all this red around, lean liberal? Can anyone please explain it to me ?
posted by forwebsites at 11:52 AM on November 11, 2006


If it's true that only steers and queers come from Texas, there must be a lot of steers wanting landscaping done.

“Why can’t people handle it when you say the truth?” she said.

Uh...maybe it's because the truth means you're a bigot (which teh gays don't necessarily like).
posted by jimmythefish at 11:53 AM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Would they be my horse riding chaps, or my bear-my-bottom-ready-for-anal-sex chaps?

That would be the Starbucks on Montrose you are looking for. Haven't been in a while but I'm sure they have better coffee shops than that there, however.
posted by ernie at 11:54 AM on November 11, 2006


only once have I faced a racial slurs?? doh!
posted by forwebsites at 12:04 PM on November 11, 2006


"What's with all the gay in American news lately?"

Gays are the new communists. Pedos were hot for a while, but that only scared soccer moms. Gays make all the right-thinkers feel squicky.
posted by bonehead at 12:08 PM on November 11, 2006


Indeed, Cleveland is perhaps one of two sane cities in OH.

Ok the revenge of my hasty post. I grew up listening to too many stand up comedians and that city seemed like a goto punchline that stuck in my tiny brain. Sorry Cleveland.
posted by ernie at 12:12 PM on November 11, 2006


I spent almost three years in Texas - during that time, I met some of the most wonderful, genuine folks I'd ever encountered in my life. I also saw more Confederate flags openly displayed than ever before in my Yankee upbringing. I heard more hushed complaints about Mexican folks daring to speak Spanish than I thought possible. I heard all manner of racial slurs bandied about like standard conversation. I worked at a drive-thru where one of our regular customers had printed up an "official terrorist hunter" sticker to slap on the back of his pickup.

That said, the last job I held in the Lonestar State was a dry cleaners run by a Sunni Muslim from Bangladesh. The vast majority of our customers were big-haired WASP women and Wrangler-wearing good ol'boys. And not a one of them had an unkind word to say about my boss or his heritage, even when it was just us Anglos in the room.

These landscapers would be bigoted pricks in any state they pulled this in. Since they pulled it in Texas, we Yankees tend to make all kinds of assumptions. I'm reminded of an Eddie Izzard bit regarding J. Edgar Hoover, when it came out that Hoover was a transvestite.

"Oh, oh, he's a transvestite, that explains it."
"Yes, yes, but he's a screwed-up transvestite!"
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:12 PM on November 11, 2006


I grew up listening to too many stand up comedians and that city seemed like a goto punchline that stuck in my tiny brain. Sorry Cleveland.

"In every country there's a city people make fun of. In Russia, we used to make fun of Cleveland." - Yakov Smirnoff
posted by jonmc at 12:17 PM on November 11, 2006 [3 favorites]


Well if people are bigoted then it's just as well that people they discriminate against should bring their business to -- and spend their money with -- businesses run by someone who's less benighted.

I wonder how much the "good christian" landscaper saves by paying illegal immigrants less than the minimum wage to do the actual heavy lifting.
posted by clevershark at 12:17 PM on November 11, 2006


How can one city, in the midst of all this red around, lean liberal? Can anyone please explain it to me ?

I haven't been (on the ground) east of Los Vegas, but it's my impression that Austin serves as a blue-magnet to pull all the liberal people out of their conservative communities.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:24 PM on November 11, 2006


for what it's worth i hope this guy and his wife get hit by a train. nothing personal you know, no hate intended. i'm just dispationatly hoping for their violent demise.

christ's love to you , kisses.
posted by nola at 12:26 PM on November 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


"We don't serve hippies here"

"Yeah, well, we don't eat 'em neither"
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:26 PM on November 11, 2006


Surely MOST states have federal protection for women right?

arcticwoman, here's a link to a whole slew of information on the most famous unpassed amendment in US history.

It's one of North America's great oddities: On paper, Canada has nowhere near the legal freedoms the US does, but in practice, the socialized-medicine notwithstanding-clause nanny-state nightmare that is our beloved Canuckistan - as the freedom-loving US right-wing sees it - often winds up being significantly more libertarian, especially on social (and social-justice) issues.
posted by gompa at 12:32 PM on November 11, 2006


forwebsites , I'm not sure what you're getting at there, but I spent ten years in Georgia and almost ten here in the Big Apple. I've heard vastly more public and private racial slurs in New York City. Chalk it up to there being much more diversity or whatnot, but bigotry is alive, well and on display here in the Yankee states.

Now, as to ernie and a state that big, I agree. My experience in Texas involved the San Antonio to Austin corridor and El Paso, with much of that experience in New Braunfels. New Braunfels is a bunch of Germans and Mexicans and they all seem to get along fabulously (though someone pointed out Mexican Whisperers above). El Paso, from my brief stay, was cracked. Austin was awesome and San Antonio was dullsville.

Big state, lots of different areas, still one reputation.
posted by Captaintripps at 12:35 PM on November 11, 2006


California's public accommodations law (our state law analog to Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) bars businesses from discriminating against customers on the basis of sexual orientation (and other bases like race, sex, disability, etc.).

According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the following states also bar discrimination by public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation: Connecticut; Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Also the District of Columbia. Here's the chart, warning PDF.

It is true that the federal public accommodations law (Title II of the Civil Rights Act) does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. Which is why all of the U.S. Supreme Court cases about the Rotaries and the Jaycees or whatever excluding women, and the Boy Scouts excluding gay boys/troup leaders, were brought under state laws.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:36 PM on November 11, 2006


Also, re federal protection for women. The Equal Rights Amendment never passed, yikes. But over the years since then the "equal protection clause" of the U.S. Constitution has been construed to give almost the same level of protection to women as would have been given under the ERA. Particularly after O'Connor and Ginsburg joined the Court. See J.E.B. v. Alabama, which is thought to mark the point at which gender discrimination under the Constitution is treated (nearly) equally to race discrimination.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:42 PM on November 11, 2006


gompa, that's kind of chilling. I had no idea. I (heart) Canuckistan passionately. I am currently living in (what I had always heard to be) the Texas of Canada. Apparently Canada's red-neck bible belt is not so bad.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:43 PM on November 11, 2006


LOL. Boy, people from Texas are sensitive. Why do you care what people think about a goddamned STATE? The ego of you people. It's as if being "Texan" is genetic.

Look at that Ernie guy get his panties ruffled. My god that was deeeelectable! The Cleveland thing! RIGHT ON! A keeper for the irony file. Thank you for that. My eyes are still watering.

It was a joke. Ok. Not to give too much away.

Do people from other states take shit so personally? I don't recall anybody from California getting all uppity with the Hollywood label. I mean if somebody said Washatonians were all addle-brained pot-smoking hippies I'd simply laugh. We are not defined by the map locations of where we are from.

Look you get worked up about the stigma your broad geographic location seems to have... grow up! It AIN'T genetic... so change it, ignore it, or fucking move. People bash Texas because there are plenty of real reasons to bash the backwards-ass place. As you few "elevated" Texans should well know.

I stand by the stupid and fat statement. Even though it was a joke I bet I could dig up some literacy and obesity and stats to back it up! Deal with it Texans!
posted by tkchrist at 12:57 PM on November 11, 2006


Heck -- up our way we're all Massachusetts libruls!
posted by ericb at 1:00 PM on November 11, 2006


Blazecock Pileon

Homosexuality is "normal". It is a natural aspect of human society the world over, dating back as far as history records.

Bigotry, however, is a sign of weakness, and of inability to function.
posted by modernerd at 1:07 PM on November 11, 2006


We are not defined by the map locations of where we are from.

Methinks you have it backwards. When you make a statement like "People from _____ are stupid" (as you did above), you are the one defining a person by their map location. So someone who lives there is targeted by your generalization, and gets upset. You're surprised why?

A thread like this in the blue is always startling to me. In our outrage at the prejudice, we prejudge an entire state? "We choose not to work for Texans..."
posted by String at 1:26 PM on November 11, 2006


tkchist utterd:
You want to find the epicenter of stupid surrounded by a the mote of incompetence that floats on the sea of "duh".

I believe it is spelled "moat".
posted by ernie at 1:39 PM on November 11, 2006


uttered I know :P This if funn phun!
posted by ernie at 1:40 PM on November 11, 2006


Bigotry, however, is a sign of weakness, and of inability to function.

Indeed, on so many levels. Bigotry is the asserted superiority of the bigot, because the person fears that they are in fact inferior, or the same.

Typically, a person feels threatened when members of another group expose them as lacking in any way. The bigot then shows his superiority by identifying with the dominant group itself, usually by enforcing divisions between groups and denigrating other groups.
posted by Brian B. at 1:54 PM on November 11, 2006


String, how is this prejudging? The landscaping company has demonstrated that they are bigoted wankers. I am judging them based on that. The fact that this comes from Texas doesn't surprise me because it seems to be a theme. If you want to change my perceptions of Texas then maybe you should try and post some news demonstrating some tolerance and good will.

I don't hate Texas but I haven't come across too much to really like about the state. Especially when I see those incredibly stupid bumper stickers "Texas Blessed God", they indicate a mentality that I find repugnant and unsupported.
posted by fenriq at 1:55 PM on November 11, 2006


Oh really, it's not like anyone can come up with five good reasons to keep Texas.
posted by cmonkey at 1:56 PM on November 11, 2006


oil, oil, oil, oil, oil?
posted by matteo at 2:03 PM on November 11, 2006


In re: defending Cleveland: I am a native NYCer. I moved here 4 years ago, and every day is like culture shock. I was moved to say something mostly because Cleveland is seriously one of the few places in OH that don't make me think I need to get out of here FAST before everyone figures out I'm a big homo. A big atheist homo. So while Cleveland is still a joke, and sometimes should be made fun of, the whole of the state is something else.

Case in point: There are two House races that haven't been decided yet (one of which is "Mean" Jean Schmidt's seat.) They have put off counting the provisional ballots in one of the races for one day so that the BOE employees can watch the Ohio State-Michigan game.
posted by ltracey at 2:06 PM on November 11, 2006


matteo, nah, we'll just invade them for their oil, look how well it worked in Iraq! Oh wait.
posted by fenriq at 2:18 PM on November 11, 2006


Despite what you think about Texas I'm sure we can all agree it's better than Arkansas. What a shit hole.





LOL.
posted by tkchrist at 3:29 PM on November 11, 2006


They have put off counting the provisional ballots in one of the races for one day so that the BOE employees can watch the Ohio State-Michigan game.

Incredible!
posted by ericb at 3:32 PM on November 11, 2006


Despite what you think about Texas I'm sure we can all agree it's better than Arkansas. What a shit hole.

I'll drink to that! Some days its the only consolation we have :)
They do sire better presidents, however.
posted by ernie at 3:41 PM on November 11, 2006


Look you get worked up about the stigma your broad geographic location seems to have... grow up! It AIN'T genetic... so change it, ignore it, or fucking move.

I'm not getting worked up, I'm shouting down ignorance and stupidity. It doesn't matter if living in Texas isn't a matter of genetics: neither is being Catholic, or wanting to date people with a different color skin than you have. Making broad, insulting, generalizations about those non-genetic things is lame, and so is making broad insulting generalizations about being from Texas.

I don't have to change it, or ignore it, or fucking move. I can choose to call "bullshit" on the whole matter and shout down ignorance and stupidity.

Grow up.
posted by 23skidoo at 5:06 PM on November 11, 2006


In the United States, the federal constitution reaches only government actions, so it cannot stop this kind of private discrimination against anyone -- black, white, female, gay, whatever.

Federal legislation does forbid some private discrimination, though. Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits this sort of discrimination based on race, sex, religion, and national origin. There have been many lawsuits trying to extend the Civil Rights Act to sexual orientation (mostly in the employment context, I think), but they have all failed and it's now universally acknowledged that the Act does not protect against discrimination based on orientation. (Some courts have held that Title II does extend to transgender discrimination, though, seeing that as sex discrimination based on failure to conform to gender stereotypes.)
posted by footnote at 5:09 PM on November 11, 2006


Making broad, insulting, generalizations about those non-genetic things is lame

So I should keep my broad, insulting generalizations to genetically based things? Check.

And shouting down ignorance seems to work spectacularly well for PETA and anti-abortion activists.
posted by fenriq at 5:56 PM on November 11, 2006


maxwelton writes: If this is true-to-form for their presumed political affiliation, the husband half of the landscaping business is deeply closeted anyway.

Worth repeating. Homophobia is a sure sign of digging on the cock these days.
posted by bardic at 6:04 PM on November 11, 2006


Gay bashing. Texas bashing. I'm a gay Texan, y'all.

Let's see... The city of Houston has elected lesbians currently serving as city comptroller and at-large city councilwoman. Dallas county as a lesbian Latina sheriff. Austin had a gay male state representative. Houston has one of the oldest continuously open gay bars in the country. Galveston has more gay bars per capita than most "gay meccas" you could name.

This ain't about Texas. It could happen with bigots anywhere. It's to the credit of Houston, and Texas, that Rick Casey publicized the story and so many people expressed opinions against the fundies.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:10 PM on November 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


How can one city, in the midst of all this red around, lean liberal?

Y'all just aren't paying attention. The Democrats swept all but one of the county-level races here in Galveston. In Dallas county, aside from the sheriff elected in 2004, the Democrats just won the DA and County Judge (equivalent to head of the board of supervisors in CA). Democrat Chris Bell also carried Dallas County in the race for Governor.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:14 PM on November 11, 2006


But Houston doesn't have anti-discrimination laws concerning public accomodation for us--most other big cities do now. Token representation without protection in the laws is not much.
posted by amberglow at 6:31 PM on November 11, 2006


I wasn't going to bother pointing this out, but after seeing all the subsequent Texas-bashing debate: fenriq, I'm guessing the real reason you knew this happened in Texas before clicking the link is because the FPP itself reads "...for a Houston landscaper." ; ]

Also, forwebsites - I believe University of Texas is also at least partially responsible for Austin's "blueness."

IANAT, have no dog in that fight, perhaps Robert Angelo or someone else can confirm or refute my UT theory.

johnmc - the key to successful activism in a capitalistic society i[s] to ensure that equality=profit. Well, yeah. See the Montgomery bus boycott, among many many examples.
posted by zoinks at 6:31 PM on November 11, 2006


here's NGLTF--go to Issues, then nondiscrimination, and download the pdf on the right --States, Cities and Counties with Civil Rights Ordinances, Policies or Proclamations Prohibiting Discrimination.
posted by amberglow at 6:33 PM on November 11, 2006


This really is about more than just this business--how would you like it if Doctors & Hospitals & Ambulance Services refused to treat patients bec. they're gay? We've already seen Pharmacists do this too. Public Accomodation is vital in dealing with discrimination.
posted by amberglow at 6:38 PM on November 11, 2006


Austin's law covers Public Accomodation, btw--this would be illegal there.
posted by amberglow at 6:39 PM on November 11, 2006


(and of course, money doesn't have an orientation, nor does it carry gay germs or anything)
posted by amberglow at 6:40 PM on November 11, 2006


amberglow, I know Houston's law doesn't cover this. Local activists have been working on it, and sooner or later it will happen.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:04 PM on November 11, 2006


amberglow, that NGLTF document also shows several other large cities or cities with very large glbt communities also do not have public accomidations laws: Phoenix. Fort Lauderdale (another gay mecca, no less). Asheville (frequently mentioned favorably on MeTa). And -- look at this -- Seattle!

Why single out Houston?
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:13 PM on November 11, 2006


I'm shouting down ignorance and stupidity.

Ah. Then that must be confusing for you. Not to mention loud. Being from Texas and all. I KEEEEED.

Why take it so personally. Let's say you drive six and a half hours west to New Mexico. Like magic you won't be stupid or fat any more! Well. You might still be fat. Again. I KEEEEED.

But you see the point. States are constructs, man. It seems that Texans take this fluke of geography more seriously than the rest of us do. Y’all treat the place like a frigg’n sovereign nation. You dish it out but can’t take it.

You know how many Herion, Coffee, Pot, Tree-hugging, Grunge, or whatever, stereotypes I hear about Seattle?

Well. They are all True. And not True. Eh. Who gives a shit. It's a place. I take no more umbrage to being a Seattleite as I would being a Milkyway-ian.

Jokes aside. I spent some time there. And in my experience, with only a few notable exceptions in Austin, it's a was wretched place. Horrifically hot. Dull. Suburban. Unexceptional in every way. Wait. No. Not true. Excepting for the food. And some music.

Texas as ranked "Most Livable." Rank 41 out of 50. OUCH!

Texas Ranked as "Healthiest."
46 out of 50. Double OUCH!

Most "Dangerous" States? 11 out of 50! Yeah Texas!


Smartest States
? Seems I may have spoken incorrectly. It's smack dab in the middle at 25.

Unless it's knowledge of the Republic itself. Texas rated in civic literacy - Grade F

If it offends you? Tough. Your state has been very, very, naughty lately. That doesn’t mean you have. But taken collectively things don’t look good. Don’t sit there and pretend Texas doesn’t deserve a wee bit of abuse right back. Take it like a Texan and stop being a cry baby. Unless you can bring Ann Richards back. Then we can forgive you.

It’s funny. I have two upstairs neighbors, sitting down here for a beer, who fled Texas who are nodding in agreement with me. They are saying “Run! Run while you can!” LOL.

Ps. Looks like New Mexico faired worse than Texas in those stats. OUCH! Don’t run there!
posted by tkchrist at 7:15 PM on November 11, 2006


arcticwoman, nothing at all like the Charter. And, states can't do federal law, by definition.

When I was in Ottawa recently, I asked if I could check in to the hostel using my partner's IYH card (she wasn't coming until the next day). The clerk looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "Of course."

I wouldn't have asked in the US. There would have been no point.

On the other hand, I'm always glad when bigots make it obvious, so I can take my money elsewhere.
posted by QIbHom at 7:34 PM on November 11, 2006


Not to bash Texas, but when I think of Texas I think of Bandaid Lady, who is from there.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:35 PM on November 11, 2006


This ain't about Texas. It could happen with bigots anywhere.

No, it could only happen in states and localities where discrimination based on sexual orientation is legal. Which is most of the US, but it's safe to say that Texas will bar discrimination against gays not long before Alabama and Utah do.

Lord willing, I won't be in D/FW past next summer. At least wherever else I might be, I won't have to put up with touchy-ass born'n'bred Texans going off anytime they think someone has slighted the Lone Star State and Holy Republic of their Glorious Ancestors.

Why single out Houston?

Well, there is the pesky detail that this actually happened in Houston.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:50 PM on November 11, 2006


Gee tkchrist I'm so glad you're here to enlighten all with your regional insight.

oh and...LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
posted by dog food sugar at 7:55 PM on November 11, 2006


defending Cleveland

ltracey, at least Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati all have public accomodations provisions to their anti-discrimination laws and cover us. (i hear Cincinnati is the most rightwing out of them, and they even have us covered--which was the Mapplethorpe city?)
posted by amberglow at 8:25 PM on November 11, 2006


You know who else used to watch the Führer ensue?

"Don’t they realize they are probably doing business with homosexuals every day? They should check out their pharmacist, hair dresser..."

Perhaps the Farbers would be happy if there was some sort of identifying mark so you could know who you can trade with? No judgement of course.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:25 PM on November 11, 2006


Well, no last judgement, anyway.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:27 PM on November 11, 2006


ahh--Cincinnati was Mapplethorpe
posted by amberglow at 8:27 PM on November 11, 2006


Gee tkchrist I'm so glad you're here to enlighten all with your regional insight.

Your Welcome.

Want more?

Chicago= Gangsters Who Like Organ Meats
Minnesota= Cold Infuriating Slow Talkers
Idaho= Nazi ATV Motherfuckers
California= Teh Pron Stars
Kansas= Corn Farmers Fer Jesus
Oregon= Dope Smoking Red Necks
Washington= Serial Killers
Utah= Skiing Mormons
Colorado= Skiing Rich Gay Haters
Florida= Smells Like Old
New York= Everything + Hot Sex
Etc...

It's all in my simple:
"US Travel Guide the TK-Way — Guran-fucking-teed To Get You Laid" $13.95
posted by tkchrist at 8:45 PM on November 11, 2006 [2 favorites]


Now that's really unfair, tk. I know for a fact that there are plenty of Nazi ATV Motherfuckers in Minnesota.
posted by dreamsign at 8:58 PM on November 11, 2006


I know for a fact that there are plenty of Nazi ATV Motherfuckers in Minnesota.

Well. That was the 2002 edition. Even Rick Steves can't keep up with fast paced Minnesota!
posted by tkchrist at 9:07 PM on November 11, 2006


PS. I am curious. They do still teach what satire and sarcasm are in college these days? Right?

Obviously NOT in Texas. But elsewhere? Right?
posted by tkchrist at 9:22 PM on November 11, 2006


Damnit, tk, I was just about to send you my credit card info for your book.
posted by fenriq at 10:03 PM on November 11, 2006


Man, I always get to these things too late. I have a series of questions:

1. is tkchrist nine years old?
2. why do you people ever respond to him? Can't you just wait until his bedtime?
3. why is it that every poster writing "U peoples are so dum you can't understand my sarcasm!" doesn't understand that if people don't get it, you aren't doing it right?

LOLS, ROFLCOPTER, LOLLERCAUST, IKEED
posted by Dunwitty at 12:43 AM on November 12, 2006


Robert Angelo writes "And -- look at this -- Seattle!

"Why single out Houston?"


Because shit like this doesn't happen in Seattle or Lauderdale?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:28 AM on November 12, 2006


> Bigotry, however, is a sign of weakness, and of inability to function.
>
> Indeed, on so many levels. Bigotry is the asserted superiority of the bigot, because
> the person fears that they are in fact inferior, or the same.

It's a spacing mechanism. Period.
posted by jfuller at 9:34 AM on November 12, 2006


It doesn't happen in Seattle?
posted by Robert Angelo at 9:49 AM on November 12, 2006


...nor in Fort Lauderdale?

What I'm trying to say is that there are homophobes all over the place. I've encountered them in DC and in San Diego when I lived there. I've encountered them here in Texas. It's great to have the protection of anti-discrimination laws. The biggest protection comes from changing peoples' minds and hearts.

I honestly do believe that cases like this will help our local officials to make changes. Call me an optimist -- I couldn't have made it through the last few decades without it.

About those local officials... They're not tokens, amberglow. They hold offices with power and influence. Annise Parker has won city-wide office multiple times by large margins. She may become mayor of Houston someday. LGBT officeholders like these walk in the footsteps of Harvey Milk, who made changes in his time, just as these officeholders will make changes in ours.
posted by Robert Angelo at 10:14 AM on November 12, 2006


My favorite part of the article:

Mrs. Farber cited one e-mail message from “Eric in St. Louis,” who wrote: “Life to the Farbers who have planted themselves like solid oak trees against these strong winds of perversion.”

"Winds of Perversion" = Blow Jobs? or just strange smelling farts?

Also, 128 comments and nobody made a joke about Pansys!?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:24 AM on November 12, 2006


It's funny, that no matter how intelligent a group may be, there is still the personal bias that can't be quantified. When I lived in Pennsylvania, I referred to it as Pennsyltucky. Chock full of industrial rednecks. Maryland turned out to be WAY worse. I am originally from Texas, and I live there again. I've also lived in NM, FL, WA, TN, and CA. It turns out that, for the most part, people are the same no matter where you go.

Some are ignorant asses.

Some think they're far superior to all others.

Some are frightened religious zealots.

Some actually try to be good to their fellow man.

Some spend all their time bickering on the internet.

Some believe that people all fit into one category of generalization or another.

tk, I applaud your superior ability to generalize with the same ability of the evangelicals who believe that fags are going to hell. Sweet.
posted by disgustipated at 11:28 AM on November 12, 2006


Seattle doesn't need a public accomodations law because Washington State added sexual orientation to its civil rights law this year.
posted by footnote at 11:50 AM on November 12, 2006


disgustipated, what can I say? Other than:

"contributions from tkchrist saved by others 166 times "

I gives the peoples what they wants!

Boo Yah! In your face!
posted by tkchrist at 2:53 PM on November 12, 2006


Robert, neither of those were public accomodations cases--MS was withdrawing support and money from rights legislation (which they later reversed back on), and the public employees in Ft. Lauderdale (the cops) actually were protected in the law already, so they could sue and take action.

What happened in Houston is the equivalent of all the Cracker Barrel and Denny's problems, where they either refused to serve black customers, or treated them horribly.
posted by amberglow at 2:54 PM on November 12, 2006


neither of those were public accomodations case

I'd referenced them as examples of behavior, not specifically public accomodations issues. Apologies for not being clear.
posted by Robert Angelo at 5:01 PM on November 12, 2006


And i'm not trying to be an asshole about this, but trying to show that accomodations issues are different and visible in a very direct way--especially in such a consumerist society as ours. Big businesses have for the most part realized that our money and business counts, and that's helped us enormously in our day-to-day lives and in our fights for rights--these small businesses should not be allowed to continue their discriminating.
posted by amberglow at 5:50 PM on November 12, 2006


Agreed, amberglow. I hope that the publicity from this incident will help Houston to pass the needed laws sooner rather than later.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:49 PM on November 12, 2006


Kansas= Corn Farmers Fer Jesus

That's utterly wrong. It's Wheat Farmers Fer Jesus.
posted by jonmc at 6:17 AM on November 13, 2006


“Life to the Farbers who have planted themselves like solid oak trees against these strong winds of perversion.”

Oak trees plant themselves?
*consults with arborist*

Bit of a convolution here with the small businesses can do whatever they want vs. non-discrimination. I have felt some serious animosity in a few boystown shops (chicago - gangsters/organ meats - different connotations depending on your location, over by dere). Of course, I see that as a result of the basic friction. Same as if I’d have gone into a black barber shop in the mid 60s. (Or, really, today some places). And I do radiate “confrontational macho aggressive,” so I let a lot slide.
And walking into a shop with an attitude (or extra swish) is a far cry from simply ordering some landscaping.
But there are comfort zones and perhaps some people feel less comfortable if they’re not being served by a niche business.
E.g. in boystown shops advertise as ‘gay owned.’ Which is swell.
It’s more incentive for me - wuz I gay - to go to that store. And if I’m not and I don’t want to give my business to a gay owned 7-11, I can get my slurpee somewhere else (no pun intended).

So I think that’s where the free market/individual rights thing breaks down. I would not want to give my business to a shop that discriminates against anyone - so the problem is not merely that the Farbers discriminate against homosexuals, but that they expect to be able to do it in the dark. They should advertise “We refuse to serve homosexuals” then we can talk free market.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:01 AM on November 13, 2006


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