A jewelry shop in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, has upset the local LGBTI community by erecting a sign stating that ‘Man + Woman = Marriage God’s Way’.
The sign was put up in Today’s Jewellers, a store with a reputation for erecting controversial signage. Last May, it displayed another sign stating that, ‘The Sanctity of Marriage is Under Attack’.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since July 2005.
A photo of the sign was posted on Twitter by local LGBTI advocate Noah Davis-Power. He told CBC News, ‘We are in our 11th year of marriage equality in Canada, with Newfoundland and Labrador being one of the first provinces to do it privately, outside of the federal government bill.
‘We are talking about Today’s Jewellers with yesterday’s mentality and it’s simply not acceptable anymore.’
— Noah Davis-Power (@NoahDavis_Power) January 14, 2016
However, a co-owner of the store, Esau Jardon, said that the sign expressed his beliefs and values, and that he had no plans to take it down.
‘They are trying to intimidate us, the LGBT group, to do what they want, to believe what they believe and we cannot believe how we believe.
‘So, it’s a statement saying, “no.” In Canada we have the freedom to believe how we want and as long as it’s law abiding we can also post them, especially if it’s on private property.’
Gay Star Business has been unable to contact Mr Jardon but spoke to a store assistant who told us that despite the sign – which was still in place – the staff had no issues with gay customers and would be happy to serve gay clientele or same-sex couples shopping for wedding rings.
‘We’re happy to help everybody. We have no problem with it.’
Speaking to Gay Star Business, Davis-Power said, ‘Mount Pearl is a very family oriented community, and like the rest of Newfoundland and Labrador, is warm and welcoming. This type of signage anywhere in our province is not common and has been met with much disdain by the everyday Newfoundlander.
‘This is not freedom of expression, this is being hateful and negative towards our community; nothing more, nothing less. We should not have to endure intolerance in this fashion as LGBT people, and we won’t.’