May 12, 2014
A Shoals-made ice cream brand, Shirey Ice Cream, has come under fire after one of the owners’ tweets against gays began spreading across social media circles and to other local businesses.
In a series of Twitter posts that spread through Reddit and a Florence resident’s blog, screenshots appeared showing Garrett Shirey, one of the three brothers who run the ice cream brand, making derogatory comments toward gays, WAFF-TV reports.
In one Twitter response to news that the Boy Scouts are “considering retreat from no-gays policy,” Shirey tweeted: “Putrid. Shame on the BSA! Sissified effeminates.”
Another reads: “so homosexuals are raging over Cake Baker & Barber denials? How asinine as a culture can we get. That’s hilarious, not debatable,” reads one tweet from Garrett Shirey dated back to February — although his Twitter account is now locked.
An additional Twitter post, likely referencing a Colorado cake shop owner’s battle with a gay couple to make a wedding cake – for a marriage the owner did not support – reads: One issue with #homosexuals receiving a cultural tail-wind is the fact that they’re all on board the USS Drama #BakeMeACake
Several local markets, such as the Alabama Chanin and Jack-O-Lantern Farms, said they don’t agree with the lewd posts made by Shirey.
“Whether it would have been to homosexuals, farmers, news people, it was still very hurtful comments that shouldn’t have been made about any group of people. We just felt that was not our thing to have in our business,” said Steve Carpenter of Jack-O-Lantern Farms, saying that it was not just a move backing gays, but against all derogatory language.
WAFF did not get a response after calling Shirey Ice Cream, but one of the other owners took to social media to defend the business.
Reese Shirey issued a statement through the ice cream brand’s Facebook page on Wednesday:
“Most of you know, Jack-O-Lantern Farms has removed Shirey Ice Cream from their store. Their stated reason was that they feared losing business by being associated with Shirey Ice Cream. Primarily they took issue with some of Garrett’s tweets where he explained his biblical-based convictions that show homosexuality to be sin. One could argue unendingly about the verbiage Garrett used but that’s really a sideline issue. The truth is, I agree with Garrett on these biblical convictions concerning human sexuality and the definition of marriage,” writes Shirey.
The Facebook post continues: ” … Let me be very clear that my Christian principles require me to treat everyone with Christian love and respect. All are welcome to associate with Shirey Ice Cream as customers or as business collaborators. We have an impeccable record of treating all our customers and associates in this Christian spirit.”