The new owners of The Nature Mart used company funds to help pass California's ban on same-sex marriage (Prop 8).
Los Feliz & nearby Silver Lake are neighborhoods that overwhelmingly support freedom and equality. Lassen's, the company which recently took over the Nature Mart health food store on Hillhurst Ave., exercised its freedom to spend about $30,000 to help pass Prop 8, which took away the freedom of others, stripping equal rights from same-sex couples who simply want to marry the person they love.
Of course Lassen's should be free to spend their money in support of their beliefs, but a huge number of local residents (of all backgrounds and orientations) don't want our money being used to promote discriminatory laws. We plan to exercise our freedom by not giving ANY money to Lassen's and by telling our neighbors why.
To the Lassen family: If someone ever tries to pass a law restricting your right to practice Mormonism, we'll be right alongside you in defending your freedom.
The owners have defended their actions by saying that the donations (which were made under the company's name) were a private family choice. This doesn't change the fact that the money came, at least in part, from what customers spent at Lassen's stores. That is why we're not spending money there.
They also wanted us to know about the other, more charitable causes to which they've made donations. We're glad to hear it, but our conscience would still not be clear, knowing that ANY of our money was being used to cruelly take rights away from same-sex couples, or from any Americans. We would never propose a law taking away Lassen's rights, but we will exercise our rights to speak the truth about them and to spend our money where we choose.
In their strangest line of defense, they point out that they do not discriminate based on sexual orientation in their hiring or promotion. Maybe this would have been something worth bragging about decades ago, but doing so in 2011 only confirms how far behind the times this business remains.
Click this link to see the LA Times Prop 8 Campaign Donation Records showing part of Lassen's donation:
Click here and enter "Lassen's" (with the apostrophe) in the contributor field to see another Prop 8 donation: