Jeff Amyx who runs Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Washburn, Tennessee posted a sign on his door that read, "No Gays Allowed", claiming he's using his First Amendment right!— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) June 7, 2018
I call for all of his wholesalers to stop selling Jeff Amyx any of his products. #BoycottAmyx pic.twitter.com/KZIa2EfV7M
After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex couple, the Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies shop owner who made headlines for being vocal about his dislike for same-sex marriage is at it again.
Jeff Amyx first made headlines after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal. At the time, he put up a sign that read, “NO GAYS ALLOWED,” letting his customers know that the store did not welcome gay and lesbian couples. He told reporters then that the message was about standing for what he believed.
"They gladly stand for what they believe in, why can't I? They believe their way is right, I believe it's wrong. But yet I'm going to take more persecution than them because I'm standing for what I believe in," he said.
Now that the highest court of the land sided with religious liberty in a very specific case, Amyx said that Christians should celebrate the ruling.
"I was shocked. I was really shocked because of the track record of our Supreme Court," Amyx said.
Still, he said, he doesn’t think that the Supreme Court will always side with freedom of religion over other matters.
"Christianity is under attack. This is a great win, don't get me wrong, but this is not the end, this is just the beginning," he told reporters. "Right now we're seeing a ray of sunshine. This is 'happy days' for Christians all over America, but dark days will come."
In that respect, he is correct.
The ruling in favor of the baker was about the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showing “clear and impermissible hostility” toward the baker over his religious beliefs, not about whether equality trumps freedom of expression. As such, experts say that other cases involving similar themes may have different rulings.
Stewart Harris works as the associate director at the Abraham Lincoln Institute for the Study of Leadership and Public Policy at Lincoln Memorial University. He said that the case involving the baker is very specific and hard to be used as a precedent to other cases involving discrimination issues.
“There're two very important constitutional issues here at least. On one side, you've got equality. It actually came to us in the form of a state statute, but still the idea is that the law has to treat everyone equally. On the other side, you've got the freedom of religion and freedom of expression," Harris said. "Of all those issues, the only one they even sort of tangentially addressed was free exercise of religion."
He pointed to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion as proof that this decision on equality versus freedom isn't over.
"Justice Kennedy in his majority opinion specifically said that we're going to have to resolve these issue in another case," Harris explained. "Once they have that, then the issues will be squarely in front of them, or at least some issues will be squarely in front of them and perhaps they can resolve something that will help the rest of us come to a consensus on the difficult questions."
Until then, at least, it’s a blessing to be able to know exactly who is and isn’t a bigot in this day and age.
Online, you can see signs that people know just how to spot and shame businesses that stand against same-sex couples.
Amyx Hardware, who reposted their "No Gays Allowed" sign after the SCOTUS ruling, is now categorized as a "gay bar" on Google and the reviews are epic.— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) June 7, 2018
"I'm usually a fan of cornfed midwestern boys, but..." pic.twitter.com/wXMxSymrIh
@Valspar_Paint how do you feel about amyx hardware, a store that shares the message “no gays allowed” on its front door proudly sells your products and shows it prominently on their website? I look forward to your answer. #amyxhardwareboycott #nohate pic.twitter.com/yHPlGCbERM— Dan McGrath (@DanMcGrath5) June 7, 2018
Hi @Thermacell. Is this your display at the end of the aisle of the hate spewing amyx hardware in TN? Oh, you hadn’t heard? The store carries your product, shows it on their website and had a tidy sign on the entrance that reads “no gays allowed”. Just asking. #nohate pic.twitter.com/9tC8GfkFrZ— Dan McGrath (@DanMcGrath5) June 7, 2018
People like Amyx may use their businesses to send messages to people they don’t agree with, but consumers can also send a message by bringing businesses down with boycotts.
Let this be a warning to others like Amyx out there.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Nicholas Eckhart