Sunday, May 24, 2015

Canadian Jeweler Bullied, Threatened for Expressing Opposition to Same Sex Marriage

Canadian jeweler, Esau Jardon, wanted to express his opposition to same sex marriage.  So he put up a poster in his store expressing that view.  When word got back to Nicole White and Pam Renouf, a lesbian couple for whom Jardon had custom designed an engagement ring, they demanded their money back.
“The ring symbolizes love, and just knowing that that’s the sign that they have up there — every time I look at my ring, yes, I’ll think of us, clearly, but also everything we went through. So I don’t want my ring from there anymore. I just want my refund,” Nicole White told The Telegram Saturday.
She and her fiancée, Pam Renouf, don’t mind doing business with people whose beliefs are different from their own, she said, but it’s disrespectful to display the message in a business.
The Newfoundland Telegram reports that Jardon believed they were misunderstanding the poster, that it was simply an expression of his view and not a statement against the legality of same sex marriage:
“It doesn’t even mention homosexuals or a specific group within that. It could talk about, for example, the sanctity of the traditional family. There are other forms of heterosexuals that are practising that (my family doesn’t) believe in, that we think the traditional form is the best way. For example, if people are cohabitating,” he said. 
He told The Telegram that while he believes in a traditional family, he does not believe same-sex marriage should be illegal. 
He said he wanted to make it clear that the store owners don’t hate individuals or think they’re bad people; they just don’t believe in certain “behaviours.”
But that clarification and giving a refund were not enough.  Jardon had publicly expressed incorrect political thoughts and he and his business became a target.  The Telegram describes what happened:
Since the story emerged ..., Jardon, who owns the store with his brother, said he has been bullied, intimidated and even threatened.
“One of the reasons my family chose to move to Canada was the rights that it offered, the freedom of religion and freedom of speech, both of which at the time seemed to be very limited in Mexico,” he said. 
However, due to posting our religious beliefs, many people in Newfoundland want us to shut down business — that’s what they’ve been telling us.”
He said some threats came with names and others were anonymous.
“One of them states that ‘you better give them the money back or you will be very, very sorry,’” he said.
Jardon said the store’s Facebook page received so many angry messages they removed it.
But that was not enough.  The bullies proceeded to create dummy Facebook and other accounts to continue attacks on Jardon.  The Telegram details those efforts:
On a new Facebook page under the name Today’s Jewellers, the controversial poster is used as the cover photo and this message is posted: “Welcome to our new Facebook Page. We had to take the old one down because anti-Christians were attacking it.”
Another post by the business, which shows a photo of a ring, reads: “Our new French language collection would look beautiful on the finger of a woman getting married to a man.”
A personal account under the name Jardon Esau showed a picture of skeletons burning under the caption “WE SUPPORT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.”
I remember being on the political discussion show, Civil Discourse, a couple years ago.  The discussion that day was same sex marriage, a cause that I was certain my conservative friends were going to lose.  I tried to expand the discussion that day to include what I thought the battle would eventually be about, including demands that business owners provide services that directly conflicted with their religious opposition to homosexuality and same sex marriage.  Every same sex marriage advocate that day said the same thing, that they were supporting an expansion of marriage to include same sex couples as a civil right and they would be respectful and tolerant of those who disagree. They insisted, for example, that a baker should have every right to not bake a cake for a same sex wedding. 

What are these LGBT rights advocates doing now that they appear to have won the battle over marriage?  I see them on social media all the time. They are insisting the baker needs to bake that cake, that the restaurant owner needs to cater a lesbian wedding, that the photographer should be forced to photograph a same sex marriage.  The tolerance that they promised for people who had religious and other objections to homosexuality and same sex marriage is long gone.


Anonymous said...

The question really is whether homosexuality is a choice. I do not believe it is. Therefore, it is a civil rights issue that is similar to other protected classes. So, it is not ok to discriminate based on homosexuality period in my opinion. If you have a business open to the public, you cannot discriminate just like discrimination based on race, sex, or national origin.

Anonymous said...

I do agree with Anon 9:16 that our sexuality is innate to who we are, that we are "born that way", and there is no choice in the matter made in utero or after birth. My agreement ends there.

Anon 9:16's announces that the question "really is" about sexual choice and if there is no choice then the State can be allowed to force people to think, believe, and act as only the State deems to allow. Why are some so in favor of “their” rights but so anti-choice when it comes to others having the same option? No, “choice” is not the question at all. The question is whether or not individuals have the right to express themselves even if their expression is not universally held... the U.S. Constitution and free speech come to mind on this matter... and whether or not the State can force individuals to perform or act as the State determines is "correct behavior".
I am a mature, university educated, out gay person who came to adulthood in the 1970's. I am proud to say my political philosophy is Conservatism (not "Republican", Conservative- there is an ocean of difference). In the many years I've been on the planet I know what it is like to be mocked and laughed at- often by members of my family, physically threatened and attacked, disenfranchised by my religion's hierarchy, and denied services as experienced by many of my LGBT community. I've seen survivors of years-long successful same-sex partnerships denied the rights of survivorship of economic fruits of financial and tangible assets that the US government grants- and thus encourages- to heterosexual couples through the forced tax system and governmental "legal" systems. All that being said…

Paul, you are one hundred percent correct with every word of your reporting and analysis in this article. I,too, long ago held the view- now borne out- that if the left liberals could get same-sex marriage legalized- and I am all for any committed union any two people opt to enter-they would not stop there but march on to new battles in the “fight” for “rights”. I always thought that the far left really had its eyes on churches and religious systems that decry homosexuality with the goal to force churches- and businesses and private individuals- to "serve" gays and lesbians, or rednecks, or bigots, or anyone for that matter- even if that goes against every tenet the churches or any individual would hold. The leftist liberal Democrat ideology sure seems like a religious cult where deviation in any way and in any thought from the Party line results in negative repercussions. No thanks, I’ll think on my own. And if a firm or enterprise or a person or a church doesn’t want to do business or interact with this gay guy? No problem; I’ll gladly take my money and my patronage to a place more deserving.

And by the way, if we have “sexual health rights”, and “LGBT rights”, and “women’s rights”, and “ethnic rights”, etc., where we are all broken down into segments trying to take this right from others so another segment or person can say they got “their” rights…. Well, doesn’t that seem to imply a legal system and an entire nation so removed from the US Constitution that we might as well be living in North Korea or Iran or Vientiane?

Anonymous said...

Lots of things aren't "choices," like compulsive gambling, alcoholism and pedophilia.

Every mental health issue does not become a protected class.

And where is "protected class" in the Constitution?

The day after being homosexual becomes a protected class, I'm going to check it on every job application.

Anonymous said...

Once again, Paul, you're committing an anecdotal fallacy, using anecdotal evidence describing an occurrence with sufficient detail to permit hasty generalizations about the occurrence, and using it as evidence is a widespread problem.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Actually Anon 1:50, you're the one who makes the assumption about why I published the story.
I certain never said it was a "widespread problem." I think the bullies in the LGBT community are definitely in a distinct minority.

But if you have a problem with that assertion because I'm citing an anecdote, what is your alternative? Do you really expect me to find a comprehensive statistical analysis before I write on subjects?

Of course, unlike those who complained about RFRA being a "license to discriminate," I actually did have an anecdote to support my claim. They had nothing but a slogan.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

This is a Canadian dispute, so neither the RFRA nor the U.S. Constitution has any relevance.

Paul: you can write about anything you choose, but do not impute the motives of one isolated set of individuals for the motives of all perceived to be in the same group.

Paul K. Ogden said...


Read my article. Is there anywhere in there that I mention RFRA? RFRA is irrelevant to the status of anti-discrimination in Canada and in the U.S. as was explained my numerous law professors. Of course, that was an inconvenient truth that opponents refused to acknowledge.

Surely you're not saying there aren't bullies out there targeting the owners of businesses who don't have politically incorrect" views on homosexuality and same sex marriage. Obviously you're wrong about that.

Anonymous said...

This is Anon 11:20.

(1) Paul, absolutely excellent reply to Anon 1:50. It is the RFRA Chicken Littles with their unsupportable allegations (read as "no contemporaneous proof") about RFRA that are disingenuous... all the alarms and screeches about the "hit" on Indiana's reputation and all the dire warnings about the State's loss of convention, and travel, and sports venue business is currently unproved and some calmer and wiser business minds believe that will generally remain unchanged. Now that the sky has not fallen the RFRA Chicken Littles have nothing to fall back on other than to deny or obfuscate the truth.

(2) I mentioned the US Constitution in part because I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that Anon 9:16 was an American residing in the United States but more importantly my US Constitution reference was inspired by Mr. Ogden's discussion of left liberal gay rights "activists" would not end with same sex marriage but push and push and push to challenge and deny the rights of religions and business owners and even private persons regarding "acceptance" of gay rights. And that is exactly what is happening. I am so saddened that Freedom Indiana and the Democrat paid political activists we've read about on Advance Indiana are so filled with the bigotry, the hating, the intolerance, and the mean-spirited words to anyone including LGBT persons who happen to have a different opinion.

And finally, anyone who reads opinion pieces and newspaper articles and political tracts from Canadian publications is well-aware that Canada bears a heavy iron fist against the exercising of the basic right to free speech. That iron fist is occurring here in the States as our own inalienable rights are slowly being eviscerated by our own government. And so what if this actually was a "Canadian issue"? What is occurring to the owners of that Canadian jewelry store is outrageous and wrong on so many levels.

Anonymous said...

If you have a business open to the public, then you need to serve everyone and not discriminate. This does not improperly affect any of your rights. These same arguments were used to justify race and sex discrimination.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 10:50 "If you have a business open to the public, then you need to serve everyone and not discriminate."

You do realize that's not the law anyplace in the country. Unless a business owner is denying service to someone because they are a member of a protected class, the business owner can deny service. Even if sexual orientation is included as a protected class, it's quite likely there will be a distinction between active and passive provision of services. There is a huge difference between a same sex couple getting service in a restaurant and the restaurant owner being required to cater a same sex wedding.

Nonetheless, all of this is completely irrelevant to the story as the jeweler did provide the service. The story was about how he was harassed by people who didn't like his views on same sex marriage.

Anonymous said...

I disagree: a requirement to "serve everyone" necessarily impairs a business owner's property and association rights. The true libertarian would support the business owner's right to serve (or not) any customer. It's bad business to discriminate and unpalatable but the state should not impinge on the rights of the business owner any more than it should on the rights of the customer.

Indy Rob said...

There is an assumption (among those who claim to want tolerance) that it is reasonable to shout at someone with disagreeable views and to try to run them out of business.

I disagree with the idea that every business has to serve every customer. Protected classes have problems of their own, and unless a particular form pf discrimination is wide spread, I think that the government should stay out of protecting a self identified class from discrimination.

There are literally thousands of places that would cater a gay couple's wedding reception,for every single place that would not, there are multitudes of jeweller out there that would love to have anyone's business.

Anonymous said...

A guy on the usually reprehensible ingunowners website put it this way:

Don't serve us because you're Christian? How dare you?

You served us even though you're Christian? How dare you?

That sums it up, pretty well. The militant homosexuals are at war with religion and any morality not given by the state.