A customer claims she was stunned to be told that gay wedding cards had to be kept ‘in the back’ of a card shop – because homophobic people had complained.
Gaynor Daws, 41, was visiting Card Factory at the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds, West Yorks, last Thursday to purchase a same-sex card for an upcoming wedding when she struggled to find one.
After asking a shop assistant, Daws says she was told they ‘had some complaints from people who did not agree with same-sex marriage’ and so had instead put the pile of them in the back out of sight.
However Card Factory apologised for the ‘confusion’ over why the cards were in the back and claimed it was due to an upcoming launch of new wedding products.
Daws, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said: “I’d originally bought a wedding card for our friends from Clintons and they were on display with all the other ones, but I needed to get one from my two sons as well.
“I couldn’t see the same-sex cards in Card Factory so I asked one of the employees and he said ‘we’ve definitely got some somewhere’ then disappeared into the back.
“He then came back out with a pile of them and said ‘here they are’.
“When I asked him why they weren’t out in the shop with the other cards, he said they had received some complaints from people who did not agree with same-sex marriage. I’m not sure which [branch] it was though.
“I was just shocked. It didn’t make sense to have them in the back really – especially when they had civil partnership ones. It’s confusing. It was easy to find same-sex wedding cards in the other card shops.”
Daws also complained about the incident on Facebook.
“I told my friends who are getting married about it and they were as gobsmacked as we are,” she said.
“I just think they need to drag themselves into 2017 and the times we are living in now.
“Being gay is just as normal as being heterosexual. It shouldn’t be any different.
“It’s even worse because it has just been Pride Month.”
In response to Daws’s complaint, another angry customer wrote: “The fact they sell them but keep them ‘in the back as they have had complaints’ is appalling. I hope they take your complaint as seriously as they did with those ‘complaints from disgruntled customers’. How awful.”
On Card Factory’s website, the company sell a mixture of wedding cards for all genders and sexualities, including customisable cards with two male or female names on them, or others with ‘Mr & Mr’ or ‘Mrs & Mrs’ printed on them.
A spokesperson for Card Factory said: “We are sorry to hear that a customer was upset by a recent visit to one of our stores and apologise if there was any confusion in the explanation provided regarding the availability of same-sex ranges.
“At Card Factory we are committed to reflecting equality and diversity in our products. We have offered same-sex cards for over a year and have recently been further expanding this offering across a number of events including Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
“We are in the process of launching our newest wedding products across the entire store estate which includes a new range of same-sex cards.
“These ranges are being delivered to stores and are due to be put on display over the course of this week, hence them not being immediately available at the Leeds store last week.
“We are pleased to be expanding our wedding products to include this new range, both in-store and on the website, and are confident that customers will respond well.”