Gay man hits back at ‘disgusting’ decorator who refused work due to Christian beliefs

Josh and George

A gay man who was refused service because of a decorator’s Christian “guidelines” has called the tradesman’s actions disgusting and disappointing. 

The 23-year-old man, who wishes to be known only as Josh, told PinkNews that he’s still shocked after the tradesman who came to his flat in the south west of England to give him a quote, later turned down the chance to do the work.

The 2010 Equality Act states that a person must not be discriminated against because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. 

Under the law, it’s discriminatory and illegal to refuse someone goods, facilities or services because of their gender identity or sexuality orientation.

On Tuesday (25 July), the decorator arrived at the home Josh shares with his partner to provide a quote for what Josh described as a “boring paint job”.

But while in the bedroom, the painter asked if Josh’s partner was in, to which he responded “he’s at work”. 

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‘Massive shock’

Josh said this moment now feels like a “a red flag”, saying the decorator didn’t take any photos of the space he had been brought in to decorate. 

A couple of hours after leaving, the decorator sent a text saying he wouldn’t do the work, which came as a “massive shock” to Josh. 

The message said that because he was a practicing Christian, he couldn’t offer his services due to “recommend guidelines at my church”. 

“My jaw dropped open,” Josh told PinkNews. “Neither of us thought we’d be in a situation where this would happen to us and, to be honest, it was disgusting, disappointing and baffling.” 

Josh, who did not respond to the message, said the tradesman could’ve said he didn’t have the time but choosing to attack their sexuality was “really shocking”. 

The couple don’t intend to take legal action but Josh said he will be reporting the decorator to the local trading standards body.

“We don’t want anyone else to be put in the position we have been put in,” he added. “We don’t want to give them our money and don’t want to be dealing with them any further.” 

Citizens Advice can offer help to people seeking to take action against discrimination by making a claim in the county court. Any action must be taken within six months of the date of the alleged discrimination.

In the US, the Supreme Court recently gave a Christian wedding-website-designer from Colorado the right to refuse to serve LGBTQ+ couples.

This ruling has seen many business owners refuse to serve the queer community, with the owner of a Michigan hair salon being widely condemned for saying that she wouldn’t serve LGBTQ+ people, and telling queer and trans folk to go to a “pet groomer” instead.