July 1, 2015 / 4:15 PM / in 3 years

Tennessee store owner posts sign telling gays to stay away

(Reuters) - A Tennessee hardware store owner who objects to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling permitting same-sex marriage across the country posted a “No Gays Allowed” sign at his store on Monday, according to a local media report.

Jeff Amyx, who also is a Baptist minister, then swapped the sign on Tuesday at his Washburn, Tennessee, store to one that reads, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who would violate our rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Knoxville television station WVLT reported.

“I don’t want them around because their lifestyle is one I disagree with,” Amyx told the station.

Amyx could not be reached immediately for comment on Wednesday at his Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies store. The station said he has received supportive and harassing telephone calls.

“Homosexuals stand boldly for what they believe. Why can’t I stand boldly for what I believe?” Amyx said.

Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville; Editing by David Bailey and Bill Trott

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