Video creates controversy over grocery store owners' political views
PORTLAND, Ore. - The shelves are slowly filling inside the Moreland Farmers Pantry in Southeast Portland's Westmoreland neighborhood.
"Yeah, it's all-natural. It's all non-GMO," says co-owner John Childs.
Childs thought his store, featuring nothing but food free of genetically modified organisms, would be a hit in this socially-conscious neighborhood.
Then came the suggestion the business might be anti-gay.
"I've got gay relatives. Gay friends. Most people do. So we don't have a discriminatory bone in our bodies," says Childs.
A video posted on YouTube on Tuesday questions that because of posts on Childs' wife's Facebook page.
Some of those posts defend the Gresham bakery that refused to serve a gay couple. The state ruled that refusal violated Oregon law.
Sean O'Riordan lives in the neighborhood and posted the video.
"For us, it's really a civil rights issue," O'Riordan said.
When rumors about the store owners' views surfaced, O'Riordan says the owners said they wanted privacy, but the posts made their views public.
O'Riordan says his brother was gay, and contracted AIDS in the 1980s.
"My brother passed away," O'Riordan said. "It's a long time ago, but it's still - it's today. I just can't stand by and allow beliefs like that to just propogate and be okay."
John Childs says the post reflects his and his wife's Libertarian politics and the state shouldn't manage social views for anyone, including business.
"We are not about discrimination at all," Childs says. "We're against control, people trying to control what other people do. That's what we're against."
Sean O'Riordan plans to leave the video up, in the free market of ideas.
"I think that's a great question," O'Riordan said. "And isn't this just the free market acting?"