[guest post by Dana]
A Lesbian couple in Canada who patronized a local jeweler for their engagement rings are now demanding their money back – in spite of having nothing but good things to say about the business:
“They were great to work with. They seemed to have no issues. They knew the two of us were a same-sex couple,” White said.
“I referred some of my friends to them, just because I did get some good customer service and they had good prices.”
However, when a friend went to visit the shop, he saw a sign that read: “The sanctity of marriage is under attack. Let’s keep marriage between a man and a woman.”
Upon hearing about this, Nicole White and Pam Renouf went to demand their money back:
A worker at Today’s Jewellers in Mount Pearl told the couple that the sign is part of their beliefs, and that they can post whatever they want in their store.
“It was really upsetting. Really sad, because we already had money down on [the rings], and they’re displaying how much they are against gays, and how they think marriage should be between a man and a woman.”
“They just said that that’s their beliefs, and they think they can put up whatever they want. I just said it was very disrespectful, it’s very unprofessional and I wanted a refund,” White said.
“I have no issues with them believing in what they believe in. I think everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. But I don’t think they should put their personal beliefs inside their business.”
White and Renouf hope to get a refund when the man who sold them the rings returns to town next month — but it’s not guaranteed.
White said the rings were meant to be a symbol of love, but now the bands seem tainted.
“I think every time I look at that ring, I’ll probably think of what we just went through,” White said.
Co-owner of the shop Esau Jardon claims he has been putting up signs representing his beliefs for 11 years without complaint. As an immigrant, one of the reasons the tolerant Jardon moved to the country was because of its “freedom of rights”, including freedom of religion and speech:
“I feel really bad that [White] feels that we would in any way try to hurt or discriminate against her, but we will not retract from what we believe. I cannot say, ‘Well because you feel bad, I will stop believing what I believe,'” he said.
“When I walk on Church Street in Toronto, where I am right now, and I see [LGBT rainbow flags], and I see a lot of signs and a lot of things on public property, I don’t have a problem with them. I accept it. I chose to come to Canada… and we accept the whole package… I don’t discriminate against that, nor do I come and tell them to take them down. For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it’s in my own business.”
Jardon is refusing to apologize and refusing to bow to social pressure in spite of having to shut down his Facebook page:
When asked if he would offer a refund to the couple, Jardon said he won’t be bullied into apologizing for his beliefs or to work for free.
He said the finished rings are ready to be picked up; White and Renouf just have to pay the balance.
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: I believe he ended up giving them a refund. You vill express der correct opinions.