Amid a wave of backlash reactions to Friday's Supreme Court ruling making same-sex marriage legal nationwide, the owner of a Tennessee hardware store hung a "No Gays Allowed" sign out front to express his religious beliefs, reported WBIR in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Tuesday. Jeff Amyx, who is also a Baptist minister, said he does not believe in gay and lesbian couples marrying.
Amyx, of Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Washburn, Tennessee, located in the eastern part of the state about an hour outside Knoxville, said that since LGBT people take a stance backing their beliefs, Christians should step forward and do the same. This past weekend gay pride events took place around the country, including New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. Before the Supreme Court decision, Tennessee was among the 13 states that did not allow for same-sex marriage.
"They gladly stand for what they believe in; why can't I?" Amyx said, according to WBIR. "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."
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Amyx reportedly removed the sign on Tuesday, replacing it with one that read, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech & freedom of religion," WBIR reported. Amyx was clear that his shop did not want gay and lesbian people as customers.
"Would you let a child molester come in your home, around your kids? Of course not," Amyx said, according to WLVT in Knoxville. "So why would I let a homosexual hang around me? It's against my nature, it's against my way of life, it's against my religion."
The Supreme Court's decision last Friday said that the Constitution allowed for same-sex marriage to be legal nationwide. While the country has shifted toward supporting same-sex marriage -- 57 percent of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry -- some hold religious objections against it. Before the SCOTUS ruling, a "Defend Marriage" pledge signed by many religious leaders made the rounds online, drawing more than 50,000 signatures. The pledge aimed to "uphold God’s biblical plan for marriage." Lawmakers across the country have begun to investigate if government employees who disagree with same-sex marriage for religious reasons have a right to not issue licenses or perform at weddings, according to a Los Angeles Times report. A handful of magistrates across the country, particularly in the South, have balked at issuing licenses.