Bob Page, founder and chairman of
Replacements Limited, which bills itself as having the “world's
largest selection of old & new dinnerware,” says his business
is facing a backlash for opposing Amendment One, North Carolina's
recently approved gay marriage ban.
Page's 31-year-old Greensboro-based
company contributed to the campaign to defeat the measure, sold
t-shirts at its showroom and rented a billboard.
Angry letters and e-mails have outpaced
supportive ones, perhaps explaining why no other for-profit North
Carolina company joined in publicly opposing the ban.
“I understand that your company
donated $250,000 or so to the effort to ban the marriage amendment,”
wrote one customer. “I am very concerned that with an increased
visibility and acceptance of the gay and lesbian lifestyle, one of my
children, who would have grown up and been happily married to a
husband, could be tempted to the lesbian lifestyle.”
“Money you used to support this
opposition came from my many purchases from your company and that is
not O.K. with me,” wrote another. “I will look for my
replacement pieces elsewhere.”
Page, 67, who is gay and raising two
children with his partner of 23 years, told The
New York Times that he wasn't “extreme” about being gay.
But, he added, “I just refuse to hide. I did that way too many
years and it's just not healthy.”
“I'm always concerned it will hurt our
business. I know we have lost business. But I don't have a board or
shareholders I have to answer to. My life is not about money,” he