Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lesbian Couple Claims Antigay Discrimination At AT&T Store In Riverdale, Utah, But The Women's Own Account Does Not Support The Claim

Here is another reason why I lobbied and voted against Proposition 5 in Anchorage two years ago and why I am a bit disturbed at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce's upcoming pro-gay outreach. According to KSL Channel 5, a lesbian couple is claiming that an AT&T store in Riverdale, Utah discriminated against them, and now the store has been mobbed by pro-gay vigilantes who want the proverbial "justice" for them.

On Saturday October 14th, 2013, a group of nearly two dozen activists protested in front of the store. The couple claims they visited the store to upgrade their phone and said the store manager asked them to leave because of their sexual orientation. In response, an AT&T spokesperson regurgitated the customary rhetoric about how they take such allegations seriously and are investigating the matter, while adding the obligatory disclaimer that they make diversity and inclusion a top priority and has received national recognition for its programs and performance. Yada, yada, yada. But the couple doesn't appear to be filing any discrimination complaint at the moment, but are working with AT&T to find a solution to the situation. Neither Riverdale nor the overlying Weber County have nondiscrimination ordinances.

Fortunately, we get many more details from the comments appended to the KSL story. The couple wanted to upgrade their phone and change the new phone to a different number. The manager told them they could not upgrade the phone and change that phone to a different number, but he was reportedly observed to be doing that for the lady next to them. So she called customer service to ask if it was a policy and they said No, but then changed their answer after the manager talked to them, explaining that it was the manager's discretion. Because the lesbian couple was getting treated differently than the lady next to them, the couple assumed it was because of their sexual orientation, and the manager refused to dignify their accusation with a response to reassure them otherwise. A link is provided to a Facebook page where one of the lesbians, Whitney Young, posts her account of the confrontation. And what you'll find is that according to her own account, at NO TIME did any AT&T personnel make any reference to her perceived sexual orientation. Critical highlights:

-- She states "The moment we walked in we felt 'it'". The fact that she felt "it" indicates she was already favorably predisposed for a confrontation and that an unfavorable resolution could only be attributable to discrimination.

-- She admits she was the first one to play the lesbian card, saying "I looked at manager in his eyes and asked if his answer would change if I was straight with big boobs and blonde hair. No reply. He looked at my family in the corner. I then said, If my family was 'normal' we would be having a different discussion?" She indicates no reply from the manager.

So basically, she expects the public to believe she and her partner encountered discrimination because of "vibes" and "feelings" rather than objective evidence. A screenshot of Whitney Young's full Facebook post is appended towards the end of this post.

An additional letter said to be from Whitney Young to AT&T was included as a comment to KSL, and a screenshot also appended towards the end of this post. It's basically an emotional diatribe which adds nothing of genuine substance. Imagine the problem if either Weber County or Riverdale had a nondiscrimination ordinance in effect; AT&T would be facing off against a government bureaucracy simply because of an aggrieved person's "feelings".

The only thing AT&T is guilty of is poor customer service. But that hardly constitutes "sexual discrimination". The aforementioned screenshots follow after the jump:

Click to enlarge or go HERE for original

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