Melissa Langford says she went to the Canal Street Family Dollar store on Friday to pick up items for special needs children, but was treated to a cashier who demeaned gay people and then denied her service.
Langford shared the experience on Facebook, writing,
"It started off with the cashier loudly voicing her opinion on how much she hates gay people (as I casually stand in line realizing what she's saying). After five or six minutes (or at least it felt like that long) of listening to her yell and preach to each customer about how "gay people need to get 'the fuck', they got somethin wrong in they head, *edit* that she had the right to refuse service to anyone she wants, gays are sick" etc, I started to writhe away internally. I wanted to cry right then and there. In fact, I'm crying right now... cuz yall didn't hear the hateful passion in her voice. She was so loud, so cruel, so uneducated... selfish and just outright mean... anyways....
Langford then told the cashier, "Excuse me, but I'm very, very gay and you're really offending me. Think what you want but keep it to yourself."
The cashier lashed out verbally after that, Langford says. She began recording the cashier on her phone, which quieted some of her tirade, but the cashier refused to ring her items up. Another cashier eventually came out and rang up Langford, as well as another customer who came to Langford's defense and was also refused service.
Langford's video of the incident, via NOLA.com, shows the male customer arguing with the cashier, repeatedly calling her "ignorant."
In her Facebook posts, Langford said a manager told her she could do nothing about the homophobic cashier. Langford also tried to reach out to Family Dollar headquarters, but she never heard back. An email to Family Dollar's corporate headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., was not immediately returned to The Advocate.
A proposed "religious freedom" bill that would have allowed businesses to turn away LGBT customers was defeated in the Louisiana legislature last year. The then-antigay governor, Bobby Jindal, passed an executive order in response, protecting business owners who deny service to LGBT people. While Louisiana still has no LGBT protections for housing, employment, or public accommodations, the Democratic governor recently rescinded Jindal's executive order and banned anti-LGBT discrimination among state employees and contractors.