'Do not come to us;' Company faces outrage after online LGBTQ2S comments
Published Monday, July 22, 2019 6:54PM EDT
A London business has faced a torrent of critical comments after the owner made it clear he's not interested in business from the LGBTQ2S community.
But it doesn't necessarily mean the business owner has violated any laws.
Pride London organizer Andrew Rosser says he became concerned when he saw an online post labelling the event a 'freak' fest.
"To see somebody be so openly homophobic was very problematic. So I wrote a review and said I don't think our community should support somebody that openly calls our celebration a freak celebration."
Rosser's review was on the Facebook page of the business linked to the comment, Laser in Motion. Laser in Motion does laser engraving for corporate or personal items.
On Monday morning the business representatives responded saying they were being harassed, that they support traditional, heterosexual marriage, and the LGBT community doesn't have to use their services.
That prompted a steady stream of comments, the vast majority condemning the Laser in Motion post.
Rosser says, "It's incredible how many comments from allies and allied groups that have stepped up and actually said, 'You know, this isn't okay.' And they've supported our community."
On his personal Facebook page Laser in Motion owner John Korzec makes his feelings clear about Pride issues.
One image shows a Pride flag with a circled slash over it. Another has the image of a bride and groom with the phrase, “Straight Pride: It’s natural, it’s worked for thousands of years, and you can make babies.”
We reached out to the company by phone, via Facebook Messenger and by knocking on the door of the north London home given as the business headquarters. To this point there’s been no response from company officials.
London lawyer Susan Toth specializes in human rights issues for the firm Polishuk, Camman & Steele. She says while the comments are concerning, the laws around human rights violations are not always cut and dry.
But an outright refusal of service based discrimination could spell trouble.
"Given societal context, historical context, around discrimination of the LGBTQ community, I would be hard-pressed to find a tribunal I think that would rule in favour of this company."
For London North Centre NDP MPP Terrence Kernaghan, the first openly gay person elected to the legislature from this area, the company’s comments are troubling on a number of levels.
"I think about a child who might identify and LGTBQ and seeing that sort of hatred online and how that might impact them."
By mid-afternoon the post on the Laser in Motion site had received more 1,300 comments. But by late Monday afternoon the Facebook page was no longer available.