A gay couple have shared the reason they won’t identify a painter/decorator who refused to work with them because of their sexuality.
Earlier this week, Bristol-based Josh tweeted a screenshot from a tradesperson who told him she would not be able to offer her services due to being a Christian.
She wrote in a text: “Hi, due to being a practising Christian, I am not in a position to offer my services at this time.
“I conduct my business according to recommended guidelines at my church,” before going on to wish them the “best of luck” in finding somebody to “facilitate you with your decorating needs.”
“I don’t necessarily feel comfortable holding the doors, and opening the floodgates”
Josh captioned the tweet: “Just another day in the life of a practicing homo – a tradesperson outright refusing to do some painting/decorating for me because of my sexuality.”
“The overwhelming emotion was that we were genuinely shocked. We’ve not been devastated by it. But nothing like that has ever happened to us before,” Josh began.
just another day in the life of a practicing homo – a tradesperson outright refusing to do some painting/decorating for me because of my sexuality 🏻 pic.twitter.com/t8fz7BPTZ8
— joshy (@joshyfront) July 25, 2023
“I’ve not responded to it, I blocked her number,” Josh told us, before his partner George continued: “When we tweeted it out, the reason Josh blocked out their name, it’s not really about them anymore.
“We don’t want somebody to paint our house who has those views, and all the rest of it. But it’s more of a case of given how shocked we were by it.
“I was at work yesterday when Josh texted me. I was telling people I work with and they were all so shocked about it. We need to realise that this stuff actually still happens.”
They noted how some have also demanded an explanation, asking how the tradesperson knew of their sexuality.
“We’ve looked into complaining, to hopefully prevent that person or, at least raise awareness”
They recalled how the decorator asked Josh whether his partner was in, and he explained he was not.
“I can only think and honestly, it’s pure conjecture on my part, that this was the reason behind that question. Because really, [Josh] was in the house, one of the homeowners, it really wasn’t relevant,” George added.
Within hours, the incident attracted huge attention on Twitter. Many people, unsurprisingly, encouraged Josh and George to “name and shame” the person who sent the shocking message.
However, the pair have insisted they will not be doing this, as they are concerned about the impact of “opening the floodgates.”
“I don’t necessarily feel comfortable holding the doors, and opening the floodgates. I have this person’s details. If I wanted to, yes, I could release them.
“But to be honest, something that I’m conscious of is, I don’t want to be really the facilitator in what is now 1000s of people who could potentially go to this individual.”
“We need to realise that this stuff actually still happens”
They feel they have “nothing to gain” from the situation. “That individual as much as we don’t respect her does not deserve to be piled on,” he told us.
Commenting on it further, they noted how the person has their address, and they are also concerned this could “come back to bite” them.
The pair confirmed they have taken action, and have complained about the person, who has been made aware.
“We are taking action,” Josh told us. “When I’m looking at my tweet, and I’m seeing everyone’s saying name and shame, name and shame, I do understand.
“We’ve looked into complaining, to hopefully prevent that person or at least raise awareness for the people who are looking into it going forward. But it’s not something that I want to be personally responsible for, allowing such a pile on.”
At this stage, the couple have received a response saying their complaint will take seven days to process, with the individual having been notified.
“If I was to say, ‘Yes, everyone go and [complain], the likelihood of any of those getting through, and being flagged as spam or whatever, it kind of defeats the point.”
They’ve also been advised by others there is a potential strong legal case they could go forward with. Under the Equality Act 2010, it is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of sexual orientation. For example, this could be at work or as a consumer.
This is not something they want to pursue for the time being. “That is obviously quite a serious thing to proceed with. It’s not something that we’re desperate to do at this stage,” George concluded.
A Little Thought:
Josh and George have decided to hold back a lot of information in their claim, I understand they want to protect their identity to avoid abuse and harassment and likewise for the decorator.
In that case it is not much of a story but has given the said couple their 15 minutes of fame and think they are enjoying the time.