A number of businesses have found themselves at the end of a boycott, or a viral campaign by the gay community and its allies after denying service or discriminating against LGBT customers. Here is just ten of the most high profile that have happened in the last two years.
Asher’s Bakery – Historic ruling on gay cake equality.
The owners of Asher’s Bakery in Northern Ireland, were found to have acted unlawfully in a historic legal case after refusing to make a cake that bore the wording: “Support Gay Marriage.” Gareth Lee, a gay rights activist, took the civil case to court with the support of the Equality Commission. The case became so high profile that Prime Minister David Cameron waded in to comment on his commitment to equality.
Dolce And Gabbana – Don’t talk about gay parents or IVF.
The fashion duo found themselves on the end of a long Twitter storm that did untold damage to their luxury brand.
Speaking to the Italian magazine Panorama, alongside his business partner, Stefano Gabbana, Domenico Dolce said children should be born to a mother and a father, “The only family is a traditional one. I’m not convinced by those I call the chemical children, synthetic babies…They are wombs for hire, semen chosen from a catalogue … psychiatrists are not ready to confront the effects of this experimentation.”
Stefano Gabbana added: “The family is not a fad.”
The designing duo did backtrack on what they had said, but the damage had been done by that point.
Sweet Cakes – No cakes for gays.
Sweet Cakes is a US bakery that was fined $135000 for discriminating against a gay couple. The owners refused to make a wedding cake. The owners went to GoFundMe crowdfunding site to look for donations to pay their fines. After GoFundMe pulled the campaign they started another on ContinueToGive, which saw them raise 3 times the amount they had originally asked for.
Memories Pizza – No pizza for gay weddings.
The owners of Memories Pizza didn’t actually discriminate but said that they would. The comments went viral and before long the owners said that they had been driven underground. A crowdfunder campaign was started for them, which went on to raise over $800,000 in donations.
Subway – A promo for all couples… Except for gay couples.
A Subway restaurateur from Angers in France displayed a promotion in his window that excluded gay couples because the marriage bill for marriage equality hadn’t officially passed. A spokesperson from Subway said, “The SUBWAY® brand is committed to maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment around the world and does not condone discrimination of any kind. We apologize to anyone who was offended by this individual store’s Valentine’s Day promotion in Angers, France. All SUBWAY stores are independently owned and operated. We are working with the owner to reinforce our corporate values and policies.
Armani – Don’t Dress Like A Homosexual.
Giorgio Armani rattled some feathers when in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine he said, “A homosexual man is a man 100 per cent. He does not need to dress homosexual.
“When homosexuality is exhibited to the extreme – to say: ‘Ah, you know I’m homosexual,’ – that has nothing to do with me. A man has to be a man.”
Coca Cola – All about the gay marriage, unless it’s not legal…
Coco-Cola the world’s biggest drinks manufacturer was slammed for removing a gay couple segment from the Irish version of the advert. The advert was apparently tweaked to fit where the advert is shown – with the gay couple being shown everywhere in Europe where gay marriage and civil partnerships are currently legal. A spokesperson for the drinks company said:
“The wedding images used in the ad for the UK and in other parts of Europe show two men getting married.
“The reason this was changed for Ireland is while civil partnership for gay people is legal, gay marriage currently is not. We wanted each ad to be relevant and valid for its own market.”
Since the adverts creation Ireland went on to legalise same-sex marriage.
Barilla Pasta – Let them eat another brand
The company which was founded in 1827 and reportedly made €3.9b in revenues in 2010 has came under fire after its chairman Guido Barilla, gave an interview to La Zanzara Radio24, in which he offended many LGBT customers.
He was answering a question regarding the lack of gay families in the company’s advertising. He suggested that gay couples would never be used saying,
‘”Our family is a traditional family,’ he added that he,
“wouldn’t do an ad with a homosexual family not because I disrespect gays – they have their right to do whatever they want without disturbing others – but because I don’t think like them and I think that the family we try to address is anyway a classic family.”
Barilla then went on to suggest that if gay people didn’t like the company’s values, they could ‘eat another brand’.
Since the fallout, Barillo committed to creating an advisory board on diversity and said that advertising campaign would be more inclusive.
Chick-Fil-A Palin in a bun
Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy doesn’t like same-sex marriage and was basically jumped by Sarah Palin in her approval of his message. Cathy tweeted that the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a key part of the Defence of Marriage Act is a “sad day for our nation,”then promptly deleted it. In 2012 Sarah Palin went on Twitter to support the chain that many from the LGBT community have boycotted.
Thistles No Double Beds for Gays
In Feb 2013 a gay couple claimed that a receptionist at Thistles hotel in Barbican denied them a pre-booked double room. The reception is alleged to repeatedly ask whether the couple wanted single beds. Nick Hurley and his partner tweeted their disgust saying that the receptionist was homophobic.
Thistle Hotels quickly responded by apologising and stating that they had a zero tolerance policy on discrimination, but not before Nick Hurley’s tweet was retweeted 2642 times