Garden Rant turns 10

#TBT: Garden Guy, will work for Heteros Only

garden guy-001

Landscapers refusing to work for LGBTs? Back in November 2006. when this was published, you bet, and the legality of doing that hasn’t changed. Indeed—note  recent legislation passed in North Carolina and other states—this kind of discrimination is still in play and often legal. It was Elizabeth, blogging then at Gardening While Intoxicated, who brought the story to the Ranters’ attention. The original 21 comments are worth a read, especially this one by Christopher C (then in Hawaii, now in NC): 

How did Miss Sabrina know Mr. Lord was one one them homa sex yulls from a phone conversation?Did the Lord say fabulous? Did the Lord say it needed to be done in six days for a fashion show? Did the Lord ask for some forbidden fruit trees?
My Sweet Lord!

Here’s Susan’s 11/06 post:

Meet Todd and Sabrina Farber, owners of Garden Guy, Inc., a Houston landscaping company.  They recently created a firestorm by sending this email to a potential customer:

Subject: Cancel Appt – Garden Guy

Dear Mr. Lord,

I am appreciative of your time on the phone today and glad you contacted us. I need to tell you that we cannot meet with you because we choose not to work for homosexuals.

Best of luck in finding someone else to fill your landscaping needs.

All my best, Sabrina

All my best, my ass. Sabrina, how do you square that hateful missive with this bit of PR hoohah on your website:  “Treating you with respect and honesty are the cornerstones of our reputation.”  Which reputation is now being hotly debated in Houston and on blogs everywhere. Their website does show their hand, however, by promoting the “No Gay Marriage” website.

Bigots will be bigots, I suppose.  But to me, the appalling part of this story is the bluntness of the bigotry and the fact that it’s perfectly legal in Texas and almost everywhere in the U.S.  Should customers fight back by demanding that the designers and nurseries whose services and products they buy be equal opportunity businesspeople?  We’ll be following this story.

Thanks to Elizabeth at Gardening While Intoxicated for the alert.

P.S.  Links removed after reading Richard Boyd’s comment.

Posted by on April 28, 2016 at 7:18 am, in the category Garden Rant turns 10.
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10 responses to “#TBT: Garden Guy, will work for Heteros Only”

  1. Starky says:

    It’s their business, so let them do as they please. If it were my business, and I did not want to server another, for whatever reason, it would be at most, my loss. Unless someone else is footing all the bills, then it should be my option of doing as I see morally right.
    I do not try to push my ‘Christanity’ down anyone else’s throats, and I try to treat everyone with respect, regardless of their belief. But in turn, I expect the same.
    There as, I would not seek out a business that deemed my lifestyle immoral, just to make a big deal of it. In my opinion, that would be me just trying to show the world how big of an arse I really was. I’m sure there are other businesses and homosexual businesses that would welcome their business.
    What ever happened to the signs that read, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”? Maybe those should be brought back to save argument and aggravation.

    • Joe Schmitt says:

      Those signs disappeared with the rest of overt segregation. I couldn’t disagree with you more. While those rights that you wish for at worst might apply to your private residence, a business open to the public under the support, protection and permission of local, state and federal laws is expected to be exactly that – open to the public.

    • Garden Rant Susan Harris says:

      SO you’d support a return to whites-only lunch counters being legal? Wow.

  2. Esde says:

    Their phone number is posted on their website; click “Contact Us” and you’ll see the phone number right above the client info fields.

  3. Vic says:

    I don’t have a problem with people simply advertising this is who I want to do business with, and then people choose from there. I don’t have a problem with Susan’s way or this other business way. The only thing I think would be an issue is govt., hospitals (certain boundaries), regular K-12 education, etc.

    What my concern is: if you have a beef with someone and can’t keep it professional (or even say I don’t know how to deal with the situation), why do you want to put yourselves in a position where the other party could damage you? If you have a cake, and it gets messed up on the way to your party so you have no cake, well why not give the business to someone who ads for it, vs. forcing people to do it. It makes us look no better than the bigots or Bible thumpers we’re talking about, it makes us look just like them.

    Btw, I would add other religions outside of the Bible. One guy, who indicated he wasn’t a Christian, went to a Muslim/Islamic bakery and they refused to do a gay cake. So we need to add more than just Christians to that list.

    Rather than allowing our emotions to run decisions, smartly plan how you can best put your foot forward for the causes you believe in.

  4. Susan says:

    If I owned a business, I’d refuse to serve Bible thumpers and bigots. See what they think of being discriminated against. I expect they’d howl bloody murder.

    • Laura Bell says:

      But they already feel as if they being discriminated against. Note the howls when public agencies changed “Christmas” parties to “Holiday” parties, when nativity scenes and stone tablets bearing the Ten Commandments on public land were disallowed/removed. They actually feel that not being able to impose their religious ideals on others is religious discrimination.

      I am a practicing Catholic, and while I enjoy seeing nativity displays at Christmas time, I try to make sure that the secular remains with the secular, & the religious remains with the religious. Christianity is not supposed to be about judging others. It’s supposed to be about improving yourself and service to others.

  5. Gary says:

    I’m gay nd outraged, but I wonder about the wisdom of re-posting this without any effort to check the current situation. They seem to still be in business, so maybe a phone call or email to find out their current position would work.

    • Saurs says:

      If something’s changed in their policy, they’re free to advertise that change widely and as loudly as they wish.

    • susan harris says:

      I tried to contact them to ask if their policy was the same, but couldn’t without creating a fake local address (coz I’m obviously not a potential client).