Business owner hosted on etsy.com says no to designing for lesbian couple

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Another business has discriminated against a same-sex couple making wedding plans. Jessica Fong of Pale Designs, hosted on Etsy.com, rejected Jami Howard and her fiancé’s request to design a guest book for their wedding.

Howard told Queerty magazine that she was both shocked and upset by the anti-gay response she received from the designer. The two first started connecting via email and everything was going great until Howard revealed her fiancé was a woman. 

After waiting for a response Howard received this email from Fong: 

Hi Jami,

Sorry for the late reply!

After talking with my pastor and praying about the situation, I decided that I shouldn’t design your guestbook for you.

Please know that I did take this into much thought though. Because I am a Christian and I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, I feel that designing a customized guestbook for you two will be against my belief and will mean that who I am and my business supports gay marriages.

I hope that you understanding [sic]. Sorry for staying in contact with you for so long and not giving you a concrete response until now.

Etsy.com does say in their regulations that any shop owner can refuse business to anyone they choose, as long as they are upfront with the customer. But since the incident with Howard has gone viral, Pale Designs has been removed from the website.

“I was completely outraged at the fact that I was ‘seemingly’ having a pleasant conversation with this shop owner about creating an image to be a part of our guest book,” wrote Howard in an email to Queerty about the incident. “When I dropped the ‘Gay’ bomb, things completely changed.

“If sexual orientation can be discriminated against on Etsy, what other kinds of discrimination are they also okay with shop owners getting away with?” Howard continued. “Etsy provided no outlet for us to leave a comment or anything like that so we (my fiance’ Lindsay and I) took to the Facebook.”

Fong did keep her business’ Facebook page active at first, but after receiving comments criticizing her discriminatory actions, that page has also been taken down.

429Magazine

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