If someone you didn’t like turned up at your favorite store or restaurant, would you stop using it? Or would you just accept that businesses can’t refuse to serve people based on their character, morals or beliefs? We all have to live in this world together and while we can choose our friends and lovers, we can’t expect businesses to turn customers away — even if they are homophobic, transphobic and anti-LGBT.
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When it comes to using celebrities as a promotion, it’s a little different. As one Texas frozen yogurt shop discovered when they posted a (now deleted) photo of some members of the Duggar family on their Facebook page.
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar visited Sweet Loring Frozen Yogurt in Laredo with their sixth-born child, daughter Jinger, and her boyfriend, Jeremy Vuolo, and as soon as the shop revealed their famous customers, the backlash started.
It’s not entirely surprising. Hardly the most popular family in the world, the Duggars are known for their homophobic, transphobic and anti-LGBT beliefs. So, customers of Sweet Loring Frozen Yogurt were quick to ask whether the shop’s owners shared these views and endorsed a family that protected their son Josh Duggar following his child molestation admission.
“Obviously your business is anti gay, woman and transgender. No thank you.” tweeted one follower, echoing the views of many.
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After the Josh Duggar controversy, several companies pulled ads from their then TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting. Walgreens, Payless ShoeSource, Choice Hotels, Pure Leaf and General Mills were just a few of the companies who asked the network not to associate their products with the show.
The difference with the Sweet Loring Frozen Yogurt situation is that this small, independent shop doesn’t have a big-bucks contract with the TV channel responsible for bringing the Duggars and their controversial opinions into our lives.
Maybe it was a bit naive of them to choose Facebook as their means of thanking them for visiting the shop. But they don’t deserve to be labelled as homophobic as a result.
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