WASHBURN (WATE) – At Jeff Amyx’s hardware store in Grainger County there’s no smoking and no service without shoes and a shirt, but what’s causing all the commotion is his “no gays allowed” rule.
Amyx said he has received bundles of hate mail after he posted a controversial “No Gays Allowed” sign outside his store in Washburn. However, he says the sign has only brought more people in to the store. Now, he’s printing anti-gay messages on hats and bumper stickers.
“God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,” said Amyx.”I just don’t agree with their lifestyle. I don’t want any part of it, I don’t want it around me and I’ll never agree with it.”
Now that message is spreading beyond the front door of his store. He’s selling hats and bumper stickers, at cost, that say “Choose God or Gays.”
“I’m just doing it because people have asked me for it,” said Amyx. Not everyone agrees with the hardware store owner’s message.
“This is definitely hurtful. The fact that he is selling merchandise that is saying “choose God or Gays.” It doesn’t really help those who are Christian and identify as LGBT as myself,” said Gwen Schablik with the Tennessee Equality Project. She adds that there are there are numerous businesses that support lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender rights through their Tennessee Open for Business program.
Despite all of the hate mail Amyx has received, the Washburn business owner said already sold out of hats and bumper stickers and he’s having more shipped in by the end of the week. He said there’s a possibility he will sell shirts as well