WASHBURN, Tenn. (CBSDC) — A Tennessee hardware store put up a “No gays allowed” sign on its front door.
Jeff Amyx, who owns Amyx Hardware and Roofing Supplies in Washburn, told WVLT-TV he put the sign up on Monday because he wanted gay people to know they are not welcome following last week’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the U.S.
“I don’t want them around me because their lifestyle is what I disagree with,” he told WVLT. “People say, ‘You need to accept them, you need to accept them.’ I don’t have to.”
Amyx replaced the “No gays allowed” sign Tuesday with “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion.”
“Would you let a child molester come in your home, around your kids? Of course not, so why would I let a homosexual hang around me?” he told WVLT. “It’s against my nature. It’s against my way of life. It’s against my religion.”
Amyx said he is still willing to sell store items to gay customers as long as they “behave.”
“Homosexuality is not a nationality, it’s not a race of people, it’s a group of people who practice a sinful lifestyle,” he said.
Customers have been split on Amyx’s stance. While some stand behind him, others call it “appalling.”
“To know that something like that is in this town, it’s appalling,” Jennifer Pinnick told WVLT. “Because everybody is so nice, kind, religious, great beliefs.”
Pinnick added that she will never go back to the store.
Amyx claims that he will not take down the sign.
“Homosexuals stand boldly for what they believe,” he said. “Why can’t I stand boldly for what I believe? Why can’t I stand boldly and say, ‘I believe the word of God over them?’”