liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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How is bigotry good for business again?

Edit: Update below, news round-up.


When I think of gardners, I think of all the kind-hearted people on my Flist who take pictures of their fields and farms. True, I have the ultimate in brown thumbs, so I tend to skim the actual how-to posts, but pictures pretty!

What I generally don't think is "homophobic bigot" when I think of gardners.

As it turns out, stoney321, a Master Gardner, today received a stunning email from the president of a gardening supply company with whom she had done business in the past.

Troy Hake, president of, sent out an email blast to all of his clients and customers (which he numbers in the tens of thousands) to express his ultimate horror: two primetime CBS television shows that he enjoys had the unmitigated gall to show same-sex couples sharing a moment of affection.

The shows in question? Cold Case and Without A Trace, two television series that regularly showcase human-on-human violence for our entertainment. Now granted, the focus of both shows is on the people who solve the crimes, and less so on the victims. However, both Cold Case and Without A Trace have no problems occassionaly sliding in elements of the main characters' personal lives, including their sex lives.

Don't get me wrong. I like both shows, and if I've got nothing better to do with my time, I'll sit down and watch them. Mostly I like trying to figure out the mystery part beacuse I honestly don't give a crap about the character stuff.

Yet it boggles my mind that the owner of a gardening company with a significant catalog business, upon seeing a male-male couple on Cold Case tentatively working their way toward a relationship, and upon seeing a female-female couple on Without A Trace share a kiss, has gotten his knickers in a twist. So much so, that he email blasted his entire customer base urging them to drown CBS in complaints about both shows.

See? This is what I don't get about homophobic bigots (aside from the fact that they keep insisting that they're not, as Mr. Hake does here). Show 'em a decapitated body on prime time, they don't blink. Show 'em two people of the same sex making moon eyes at each other, and they're clutching the ol' pearl necklace (yes...a joke that's in bad tast...sooooo don't care).

Think he kind of forgot that a certain percentage of his customer base just might be gay? And that a larger percentage of his customer base just might find his opinion a weeeeee bit offensive?

Or maybe he just doesn't care and won't mind the loss of current and future business.

Anyway, to read the full text of the email blast that stoney321 got, as well as stoney321's response, go here.

You can bet that when I get home tonight, I'll be sending an atta-boy to CBS. As for Mr. Hake, I'll have to think harder about my email. I want to be polite while making clear that I will work very hard to turn his his company's name into "mud" with all my gardening friends.

He's entitled to be a homophobic bigot, of course.

And I'm entitled to preventing money from ever reaching his pockets because he is a homophobic bigot. I have no compunctions about letting him know that I'll be doing just that.


News Round-Up or Why You Should Never Assume Everyone Agrees With You:

One customer actually gets an answer from the company and it pisses him off. (F-bombs are dropped.) I have to include this snippet, though, because it made me laugh:

I know we won't be buying seeds from them anymore, and that's what it boils down to. The amount of business they lose or gain from this shit will determine their level of tolerance. Depending upon their profit and loss reports, they'll either fly a Christian flag or a Rainbow one. I visited their site just now to see if they were committed to their opinions enough to post it on their pages. Could find nothing at first. I searched their site for the word "gay". Found this: Gayfeather Thickspike. I'm sure it's a flower, though it would be a great name for a queer superhero, or maybe just a high-priced dildo.

Turns out, according to The Portland Mercury Blog, that it's a canned response that every customer is going to get. Considering how much publicity this is getting, no response might be a better option.

Best Week Ever actually has a piece on this email

The Consumerist, Shoppers Bite Back urges its readers to take action.

Cup of Coffee confirms they also got the email.

Gay Rights Watch has some fairly humorous commentary on the whole thing, not to mention a new Web design for Outside Pride. (WARNING! Image may be offensive for some.)

Here's something from the blog Good As You.

lisalamona got the same letter.

Loaded Orygun actually called Outside Pride to confirm that the email is legit

The Portland Mercury Blog has also picked up news about the email.

The Portland Metroblog has also picked up the sordid affair.

queer_rage has something to say as well.

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