Sign company enables wedding vendors to avoid awkward refusals (SATIRE)

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Now that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, evangelical Christian wedding vendors are rising up to defend their right to biblically based discrimination.

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Franks via Shutterstock, text illustration added by Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons

Now that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, evangelical Christian wedding vendors are rising up to defend their right to biblically based discrimination.

JACKSON, Miss. (RNS) Now that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, evangelical Christian wedding vendors are rising up to defend their right to biblically based discrimination. A slew of state legislatures have aided their cause recently with bills that would give state sanction to their “religious liberty” to refuse services to gay and lesbian couples.

Legal protections are great, the vendors say. But what about the awkward interactions of actually rejecting such happy people to their face? That’s a problem that a longtime local sign maker wants to solve.

“Imagine for a minute, these two happy guys walk into your flower shop and your heart swells up for their happiness and joy, but you know that’s Satan pulling on your emotions,” said Jedediah Fearsgod, the CEO of Bless Your Heart Posters and Signs Inc. “These conscientious creative artists deserve the tools to rebuff folks before they even enter the door.” The Literalist Guthrie

While florists and cake designers have received most of the media attention for their religious right to religiously refuse their services, the wedding reception venue can be an issue. That could be why Fearsgod’s fastest-selling sign is a large banner for private halls, hotels and other hot spots simply reading “LGBT-NO!” With this easy fix, same-sex couples and their wedding planners will back off immediately.

The stop-them-before-they-ask advertising banners also work for caterers. After all, the largest expense at a wedding is usually the food. And no one likes denying people sustenance.

“Our signs cut straight to the point, and a lot of older folks in these communities don’t even understand what ‘LGBT’ means,” Fearsgod said. “Some of the early adopters have even reported increased revenue since putting the banner up.”

Other signs suitable for venues and vendors include:

  • “Proud to Only Serve Straights” if you don’t even want to acknowledge the presence of LGBT people in your community.
  • “Homosexual Customer Waiting Room This Way” for the compassionate type who still wants to refuse services to people’s face, but to do it in private.
  • Same-sex couple stick figures with arrows pointing folks to the nearest tolerant establishment. (These have elicited some complaints since they imply another option is nearby, but proprietors report oftentimes the closest alternative is hundreds of miles away.)

Wedding dress boutiques can now breathe a sigh of relief, too. Lesbian couples will get the message when “ONE COUPLE = ONE DRESS” appears on yard signs outside.

Bless Your Heart Posters and Signs spends most its time on same-sex refusals, but that’s only a part of its business. It also features signs and posters to deter divorced people from asking vendors to participate in a sinful second marriage ceremony.

“A favorite product of mine is our personalized camera strap with ‘first time only’ in bold lettering,” Fearsgod said. “The photography business is based on referrals, so referring to the Bible clearly states your determination not to capture any evil moments.”

Showing a visitor around his company’s production factory on the outskirts of Jackson, Fearsgod beamed. His pride in his burgeoning business was palpable.

“Our revenue hasn’t been this high since my grandfather ran the business during segregation,” he said.

(Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons (@guthriegf) writes at the intersection of faith and public policy)

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  • Mike

    This is the kind of rhetoric you get from Donald Trump; it’s just as disrespectful and intolerant bombastic mud-slinging that doesn’t contribute to actual public discourse. It’s nothing more than culture war.

  • I’m pretty sure this is an April Fools prank.

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  • Rev. Marie Fortune

    I think the “Religious Freedom” laws should require businesses to post “Gays Not Welcome Here” signs. seriously. then let the marketplace sort it out.

  • Mike Pennington

    It’s all perspective. Back in saner times, if we couldn’t find what we wanted in the way of goods & services we moved on to another company.

    We didn’t expect a Cadillac dealer to sell or specialize in Dodge pickups. Nobody got offended at what the business chose to specialize in; nobody read into it hate or prejudice. We didn’t go on a constitution attack by pursuing anti-discrimination laws that forced Cadillac dealers to start carrying Dodge pickups because we were tired of our little feelings being hurt by those terrible Cadillac dealers exercising hatred against us for our choices, and embarrassing us when walked in and asked if they would order us a Dodge pickup. We just went on with our lives and found a Dodge dealer that had pickup trucks, and all lived happily ever after….until the LGBTs came.

    It shouldn’t surprise me to see a “religion based digital media outlet” supporting so many secular viewpoints, but there is the apostate church warned of in the end…

  • Debbo

    Hahahahahahahaha! This is good satire. Rather than a “Whites Only” section, this writer suggests an “LBTG Only” room. This is the essence of satire. LBTG discrimination is no different from racial discrimination. That’s the point of this piece.

    This is the clincher: “Our revenue hasn’t been this high since my grandfather ran the business during segregation,” he said.

    Get it?

  • George Nixon Shuler

    I don’t think you understood the article.

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  • George Nixon Shuler

    Sorting through that word salad, I can best say this is nothing new. Perhaps you should consider refreshing yourself on the history of the Civil Rights Era: Prior to enactment of civil rights laws there were separate waiting rooms for races in bus and train stations. There were separate drinking faucets and restrooms. White women with black maids refused to let them use their bathrooms. Jackie Robinson was spit upon and called vile names when he left the Negro Leagues to sign with the Brooklyn Dodgers (shameless plug for my church body: Branch Rickey, the Dodgers manager, who was played by Harrison Ford in the movie “43” [Robinson’s number on his jersey] was a devout Methodist and integrated baseball out of his religious belief). Do you really want to go back to those days before when you could treat other people shabbily without consequences? I don’t. The group the others belong to is unimportant. A Christian exercises his or her faith by radical hospitality, not by…

  • yoh

    Attention bigot baker defenders: If you support a baker’s right to not ‘participate’ in a gay wedding by refusing services, then you also support a landlord’s right to evict so that he is not forced to ‘participate’ in the interracial relationship of one of his tenants.

    Both are equally valid concerns. Which is to say, not valid at all by any stretch of the imagination.