Anti-Gay Baton Rouge Granite Co. in Stone Age August 29, 2010Posted by Robert J. Wilson in LGBT Issues, Politics.
UPDATE 3: I should have made it more clear that I was not directly involved in this incident, but am merely reporting on the incident as described by the CCA’s Chairman, who is an acquaintance of mine.
UPDATE 1: SSG’s Facebook page has disappeared.
From Kevin Serrin, Chairman of the Capitol City Alliance, a Baton Rouge-based organization supporting equality:
I’d like to share with you an unfortunate incident of recent anti-gay discrimination in Baton Rouge. Here are the facts:
• On Saturday, August 8, 2010 a gay couple entered Southern Style Granite (SSG) on Airline Highway (address listed below) in Baton Rouge shopping for a remodeling project.
• One of the owners of SSG, Darren Cifreo, specifically asked the two gentlemen if they were in a relationship with each other. After confirming that they are, Mr. Cifreo told them that SSG does not work with “Your Kind” and told them to leave the showroom
• On Thursday, August 18, 2010, I was contacted by the couple and told of the incident
• On Monday, August 23, 2010, my partner and I went to SSG to see how we would be treated. Darren Cifreo subjected us to similar questioning about our relationship and we confirmed that we are a couple.
• Before Darren Cifreo could throw us out, his brother and co-owner of SSG, Chris Cifreo, called him into the office. Chris Cifreo then let us view granite samples, but was obviously upset with us and was not helpful
• Upon further discussion with the couple, I proposed that I contact SSG on behalf of CCA and use the incident as a learning experience and ask them to apologize
• I called Chris Cifreo on Friday, August 27, 2010 and explained who I was, and requested a convenient time to discuss the incident with him, but he hung up on me
In 2010, two people of the same gender should be able to walk into a business establishment in Baton Rouge without fear of harassment and discrimination. How you chose to respond to this incident is a personal decision. However, CCA offers the following suggestions:
• Contact your friends, family, and any designers and contractors you know, and tell them that SSG discriminates against LGBT people
• Post the incident on your Facebook pages
• Contact Southern Style Granite directly and tell them how you feel about their treatment of ‘our kind’ and that you will be spreading the word for people not to do business with ‘their kind’
• Go to on-line review sites, such as http://www.yelp.com/ and post a review
If you’d like to contact SSG:
Chris Cifreo and Darren Cifreo, Owners Southern Style Granite
10335 Airline Hwy
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Phone: 225-295-7888 (office)
Phone: 225-588-6333 (Chris Cifreo cell)
The experience that my partner and I and the other couple went through was humiliating and embarrassing. It is my hope that we can us this experience to make Baton Rouge a more tolerant city.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.
Chairman, Board of Directors
Oh, but there’s no reason to pass the One Baton Rouge resolution, because B.R. is completely tolerant of LGBT residents… /sarcasm
The Cifreos are giant assholes and I hope their business evaporates.
Please spread the word about this awful business and their hatred of gay Baton Rougeans.