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Painter Rejects Gay Customer

The story of a Christian tradesman is at the center of a fiery debate on Twitter.

24 April, 2024

Can you refuse to work with someone because you don’t agree with their sexual preference?

That’s the debate on Twitter/X after a house painter refused a job because the client was gay.

The tweet posted by user @joshyfim includes a screenshot from the house painter explaining the reason for turning him down.

“Hi, due to being a practicing Christian, I am not in a position to offer you my service at this time,” the painter wrote. “I conduct my business according to recommended guidelines at my church. Best of luck in finding a perfect tradesperson to facilitate you with your decorating needs. Kindest regards, [Name Redacted]”

The rejected customer was outraged by the message, saying on Twitter: “I’m genuinely so gobsmacked and riled up by this!? What the hell?”

Being that this is Twitter/X, where outrage and snark is the coin of the realm, the tweet got a range of reactions.

“WTH? You’re asking him to paint, not have sex with you,” wrote @MsTrixieRVA.

“I read this open-mouthed,” tweeted @EnglishNick05. “I’m a gay tradesman. This is pure homophobia. I would out his company and his archaic practice.”

Others wondered how the painter would have known the customer’s sexuality to begin with.

“How did this tradesman even find out anything regarding your sexuality?” wrote @ahung. “I’m sorry about this. This is coming from a queer/gay Christian myself.”

Several tweeters suggested the customer pursue legal action against the painter for refusing to do the work. The homeowner lives in Bristol, England, so English law would apply in this case.

“Under the Equality Act, whilst someone has the Common Law right to refuse service to whoever they please, they do not have the right to refuse service on the grounds of a protected characteristic,” wrote @camerontasker. “I would seek legal advice if you are able. You may be able to take action.”

The potential litigation is reminiscent of the case of the wedding website designer in Colorado who refused to do work for an LGBTQ couple who were planning to get married.

The website designer said that homosexuality goes against her beliefs so she shouldn’t be forced to work on a project connected to gay marriage.

Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with her, with Justice Neil Gorsuch writing an opinion that designing a website is an extension of free speech, so the website designer should not be required to “speak” in support of the gay couple.

It’s not yet known whether there will be legal action in this case. We’ll update you if it goes to court.



Anonymous (not verified)

Painting Contracting is a tough, competitive business. Treating this business in a mature manner has it's rewards. We live in a time where a person taking a stand for anything becomes the target of anyone with access to media. Tried and convicted in the media seems to be the price a person pays for saying practically anything. Regardless of a person's beliefs perhaps it is wiser to just deal with things on a one on one basis. My business is not mass media's business...

Fri, 05/03/2024 - 19:57 Permalink

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