A grocery store in Pennsylvania caused outrage among local residents after it shared an anti-face mask rant that blamed LGBT+ people for “spreading deadly diseases”.
Wenger’s Grocery Outlet is a discount grocery store in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, and last month its owner posted a sign on the front door full of COVID-19 conspiracy theories.
The rant, which contained a grand total of 24 points, questioned whether the coronavirus pandemic was real, or whether it was a “political issue”.
It falsely quoted US representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as saying: “It’s vital that governors maintain restrictions on businesses until after the November elections because economic recovery will help Trump be re-elected.
“A few business closures or job losses is a small price to pay to be free from his presidency.”
Although the store’s owners asked for people to be respected whether or not they chose to wear a face mask, it also claimed that wearing one could lead to “low productivity”, “high sick leave”, “depression”, “anxiety” and “many other health issues”.
If the coronavirus conspiracies were not enough, the store’s owner also turned on LGBT+ people and attacked them for “spreading diseases”.
Tucked away at point number 19, the sign read: “COVID-19 IS NOT AS CONTAGIOUS AS THE NEWS MEDIA AND MANY OTHERS HAVE BLOWN IT UP TO BE.
“A lot of these same people support LGBTQ. This lifestyle is sin in God’s eyes and spreads deadly diseases and sicknesses.”
The final point read: “TURN YOUR LIFE TO JESUS. STUDY THE BIBLE AND CAST ALL YOUR FEARS ON JESUS, HE WILL SUPPLY YOUR NEEDS.”
Wenger’s, the scratch & dent grocery outlet in the next town over, has this posted on their door. Number 19 says: Households who “support LGBTQ” are getting infected more because that lifestyle is a sin that spreads disease. pic.twitter.com/k0nUy4SP34
— Chris Martine, PhDuh (@MartineBotany) July 11, 2020
A photo of the sign was posted as the cover photo on the Wenger’s Grocery Outlet Facebook page.
According to The Daily Item, when asked if he would like to comment on the notice, owner Mark Wenger said: “That’s fine. I’d rather not.”
Local resident JanAnn Todd, who used to shop at Wenger’s almost weekly, told the publication: “Having a gay son, that really infuriated me. This store really has caused some outrage on so many levels.”
She added: “I wear my mask everywhere I go in public to protect others, but if they won’t protect their customers, why should I even give them my business.”
The sign, which has since been removed, even sparked a Pride rally by LGBT+ people from across the county.
Event organiser Victoria Mathews told FOX56: “We’re here to love, we’re not for hate. And my hope is that it will bring unity and a greater understanding.”
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