Jeff Amyx recently put up a "No Gays Allowed" sign in his hardware store in Grainger County, Tennessee.
Amyx, who self-identifies as a Baptist minister, claims the sign is based on his religious beliefs, but didn't cite any verses in the Bible that refuse service to gay people.
Amyx told WBIR:
"They gladly stand for what they believe in, why can't I? 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."
Amyx has received plenty of phone calls about the sign.
“A lot of people have called me and congratulated me,” he told WATE. "People calling and threatening me, telling me I would regret this. No, I’ll never regret it."
He added, “The reason I put up the sign is to let the homosexual people know that there are Christian people that are willing to take a stand.”
Amyx did replace the “No Gays Allowed” sign with a new sign that has some legalese wording: “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”
He went on to explain: “People told me I ought to do it a little bit more, make it a little nicer because I’m a very blunt person.”
Hedy Weinberg, of the Tennessee’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement:
"Gay and lesbian people are our neighbors, coworkers, family members and friends. When it comes to being able to be served by a business, they should be treated like anyone else. Religion should not be used as an excuse to discriminate against LGBT people. Businesses that are open to the public should be open to everyone on the same terms."