Twitter | @shossy2

Bigot Store Owner Posts 'No Gays Allowed' Sign And It Backfires Harder Than Ever

In this day and age, you'd think a small business would welcome all the customers they could possibly get. It just doesn't make sense to turn good money away!

And when you mix politics with business, things can get messy awfully quickly.

Small business owners are just that: small. Their customer base is much larger, especially with social media.

And when you make an outrageous statement in 2019, which, yes, you have the freedom to make, you'd better believe your customers are going to use their freedom of speech too.

Just look at this bigoted hardware store owner who got hammered for his homophobia.

Unsplash | NeONBRAND

While his beliefs aren't unique — unfortunately — his willingness to literally put up a sign announcing them is pretty unusual these days.

Jeff Amyx, owner of Tennessee's Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies, isn't shy about those beliefs.

Twitter | @shossy2

He wants to sell hardware and roofing supplies, but not to gay people, basing his homophobia on, you guessed it, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. He put signs up on his store to that effect and proudly posed in front of it for a pic.

He first started putting the signs up in 2015 in what he says was a reaction to gay pride.


"They gladly stand for what they believe in, why can't I?" he told USA Today. "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."

Unsplash | Ahmed Carter

He's right that he's going to be called out on it, but to think he's facing more persecution than a gay person does on a given day is kind of a stretch.

When pics of Amyx posing with his signs were posted to social media, many, many others started exercising their freedom of speech.


The big backlash started on business review site Yelp, where folks let their feelings be known clearly.

The Yelp reviews have since been scrubbed.

Yelp does that when actual reviews from customers get overwhelmed by those responding to a viral news story.

But this being the internet, screenshots are still around, and they're not flattering.

Some folks had questions regarding Amyx' "no gays allowed" policy.


Like, how gay do you have to be to be denied service? How would Amyx even know how gay you are? Honestly, they're pretty good questions.

Other folks flooded Yelp with positive reviews that instead portrayed the hardware store as highly sex-positive.


Some suggested that the store "has everything for your pride parade needs," while others made some spicy double entendres about some of the funnier hardware store supplies, particularly caulk.

Other folks re-categorized it as a gay bar instead of a hardware store on Google.


"This has got to be one of the worst gay bars I've ever been to," wrote one person on Yelp. "Usually I'm a fan of the cornfed midwestern boys, but the crowd here was totally dead. Strongly recommend you find a nicer establishment."

The legit reviews that remain on Yelp aren't exactly glowing, either, and tell a pretty sad tale.


One customer said he was asked to leave because of the color of his shirt. Another mentioned that he couldn't even make his purchase because he was "forced to listen to several long, irrelevant speeches about how horrible "sodomites" and "gay people" are.

And although Yelp has cleaned up the Amyx site, Google's reviews remain in place.


You can see for yourself right here — note that the language isn't policed.