Landscaper turns away gay couple and calls their marriage a ‘perverse delusion’
A landscape gardener refused to serve a gay couple because he opposes same-sex marriage.
Stuart DiNenno, the owner of Botanica Atlanta Landscape Design in Atlanta, Georgia, has come under fire over his allegedly discriminatory conduct.
Towleroad reports that a couple from Sandy Springs, Georgia, who have not been publicly identified, had enquired about hiring DiNenno for some work on their garden – but were taken back by his homophobic response.
In a Yelp review, one of the men explained: “Contacted [the company] today about a very large project in Sandy Springs. The owner asked if the work was for me and my wife, I said no me and my husband and he replied that he wouldn’t be interested in working with us.”
Incredibly, DiNenno then confirmed the allegation was accurate.
In a response he said: “Yes, this is an accurate description of what happened.
“When doing a large landscaping project it is necessary to work with the homeowners closely over several months through the design and installation phases.
“I can’t do that, all the while going along with the delusion of two men calling themselves a married couple, with one man referring to the other man as his husband. It’s very perverse and foolish, and needs to be called out as such.”
Other alleged posts from DiNenno explain he “refuse[s] to deal with sodomite ‘couples’ from whom I do get inquiries occasionally.”
He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
There is no state-wide LGBT+ anti-discrimination law in Georgia, and there is likewise no federal law directly outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation, as Republicans in Congress continue to block the Equality Act.
Atlanta does maintain a city-wide LGBT+ anti-discrimination ordinance, however.
DiNenno’s Yelp page has been flooded with negative reviews in the wake of the comments.
One states: “In many cases of outrage, there are two sides to every story… [but] this time, it’s much easier than that.
“Botanica Atlanta Landscape Design thought it was okay to not only carry the believe that two men that are in love are not only delusional of their matrimony, but evidently not deserving of landscaping services as a result.
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“AND the owner of this business solidified that believe and policy in the form of a retaliatory Yelp review response. It’s disgusting, quite frankly.
“Therefore, I cannot safely recommend this business to anyone. There’s no telling whether you will receive their services anyway, since who they serve and do business with is contingent on fleeting, bigoted beliefs.
“In the event you’re in the market for landscaping services, my suggestion is that you take that business elsewhere.”
Another added: “Excuse me Stuart but marriage equality is a legal marriage.
“You just crashed your business because this couple could have sent you loads of new clients and instead you sent yourself into bankruptcy.
“Most of the people that support your opinions don’t landscape around the abandoned car in front of their double wide.”