Thursday, November 03, 2011

OMG! Mormon Homophobes Just Took Over My Healthfood Store!


My hill isn't zoned for stores but I can hike down to Hillhurst in Los Feliz Village to do some shopping at the local healthfood store if I want to. I've been shopping at Nature Mart since I moved to L.A. two decades ago. Last month the owner sold it but there was a big hush-hush mystery about who bought it. I went over there yesterday, the first day of the new operation, to check it out. The Nature Mart signs are all still up and the store looks pretty much the same. But then I saw the bags-- Lassen's Natural Foods. Oh, God, no!

I recognized the name immediately. Lassen's is owned by a vicious hate-monger and Mormon militant, Peter Lassen, who helped finance the Mormon attack on Prop 8 here in California. Rural, backward Lassen County, the reddest county in California, is named for his great grandfather, also Peter Lassen. The county voted 71.3 % for Proposition 8, amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriages. Lassen's store in Ventura alone contributed $27,500 to the anti-gay jihad. His store in Camarillo ponied up another $3,000 and his store in Simi Valley gave more. In the end, Lassen gave tens of thousands of dollars towards institutionalizing bigotry and hatred in our communities. The Los Feliz/Silverlake area is one of the most gay-friendly parts of Los Angeles. What a stupid decision for him to buy a store in an area where everyone is going to hear about what he did and look for alternative places to shop!

In fact, yesterday I met my new neighbors-- a screen writer and a viola player. They just bought the house across the street. I have to remember to warn them. And Cynthia will be so excited. She thinks the store is dirty and when I get her about the bigotry part, I bet she'll really get on her husband to stop buying vitamins there. Thing is, if you walk in and buy some organic Swiss chard, you're helping to finance hatred and bigotry against our neighbors. There's no place for people like Peter Lassen around here. He should go back to Lassen County.

And this isn't the problem:

Lassen's niece, who personally donated anti-gay money herself and manages the store in Camarillo (owned by her father, John Lassen), defended the idea that the stores gave money to defeat Prop 8. "We have a lot a gay and lesbian customers. We have nothing against them. To us, it is a moral issue, not a civil issue... Sadly, people feel like they have to blame somebody. It's not just Mormons who voted for this. It was passed by a majority of Californians. We love our gay and lesbian customers. If they don't want to shop at our store, then that's their choice. I can respect that, but they should respect my family's beliefs, too. It's pretty sad how mean people can be."

Yes, we're mean because we object to a bunch of wealthy freaks financing a hate-filled proposition targeting our families, friends and neighbors.

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At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these antigay businesses opening up in L.A. like Lassen's and Chick Fil A isn't a coincidence. It is an invasion

At 3:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

G&L customers still shop @ Lassen's? Is this becuz they're clueless or just more interested in their bougie west coast p.c. food? In NYC Lassen's would have been long bankrupted.

At 3:42 AM, Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

It's more a matter of the sentient not turning out than it is a majority voting for that hate-filled screed. If we don't start showing up at every election, these things happen. Believe me, I know; I'm from Ohio, where it took Czar Kashitch I to wake people up.

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Mr. Smug said...

"It's pretty sad how mean people can be." Could Lassen's niece be any more clueless and narcissistic? Or, maybe it's just brain damage. No matter which, it's a pretty incredible, and very sad, statement.

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Britt said...

I'm a mormon and I don't hate gay people. I think that there has been some serious misunderstanding about how we actually feel about gay people. If you look at what the "Mormon Church" has done you would find that in many ways the church has encouraged gay rights in terms of equal rights with tax breaks and other couple benefits through civil unions. However, mormons believe that marriage is a religious institution first and foremost. And we believe that God instituted marriage between a man and a woman. We don't believe that we have any right to redefine marriage until God says so. I have no idea about Lassen or Lassen's niece. However, Mormons do not hate gay people in fact there are gay mormons. I have a few gay mormon friends...

So, I guess I posted this to let you know that some of what you may have believed could be generalized about mormons is really not a fair generalization. In addition I can sympathize with homosexuals that have been ridiculed, I've been ridiculed for the things that I believe. Those who have criticized me have largely misunderstood me and my beliefs. This is somewhat analogous to some of the crap that gay people get for their lifestyle choices. I say live and let live.


At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh goodness. Britt could not be more misguided. First, choosing to believe a particular fairy tale (religion) is a choice. Being G/L is just being. That's be like saying being black is a "lifestyle choice." It's an absurd proposition, as is saying sexual orientation is a "lifestyle choice."

Second, Britt justifies the Mormon church's position by saying it supports "civil unions" -- i.e., second class citizenship -- for some society members.

Worst of all, you hid behind a fairy tale, that "god" created marriage, when in fact HUMAN BEINGS created marriage, to justify giving heterosexuals special rights. Sorry, but hiding behind a purported deity does not excuse bigotry.

At 1:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the petition to tell Lassen's you won't be giving them your money:
Let's spread the word before more people start shopping there.

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If any religious group believes that God instituted marriage, then where are their massive campaigns to outlaw the sin of divorce? No, it seems like you've got a special bias against same-sex couples. I'm no religious scholar, but I'm pretty sure that kind of judgment is reserved for a higher authority.

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Echo Park Patch said...

Check this out on Echo Park Patch:

At 11:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Britt,
If you feel that marriage is a religious issue, then feel free within the auspices of the Mormon temple to restrict whom you marry.

But civil marriage is also a state contract, not a religious one. Civil marriage has nothing to do with religion--yours, mine, or anyone else's.

Freedom of Religion means that all religions have the same freedom. So you as a Mormon don't get to tell a Catholic, a Hindu, an Episcopalian, or a Buddhist what to believe. Nor can they tell you.

But most importantly, you DON'T have the right to force people who don't share your belief to live under your rules.

SO when your church worked to deny the civil rights to an unpopular minority, you hearken back to the days when it was common to refuse to rent to Jews.

And we have words for that. Words like bias, and bigotry.

So until the Mormon church stops trying to enforce Mormon religious laws as civil laws, we'll be calling you out on that.

What seems unclear to you is that don't "love us" if you try to hurt us. And you not only tried, but succeeded, in hurting us. Deeply. In the most important part of our lives. And you did it deliberately.

To the LGBT community, the Mormons are a faith of bullies.

So while the Lassens have every right to be bigots in support of Mormon doctrine, LGBT people and their friends have every right not to contribute to that effort. We'll be perfectly happy not to give our gay dollars to any company or organization that is biased against our gay marriage.

Have a nice day.

--A married gay Californian

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Karrick said...

The Mormon church is an anti-gay organisation. Britt should check out the video of last years october general conference (not the heavily edited version in their 'ensign' magazine) where one of their apostles berated gay people as people who deliberately choose a sinful lifestyle.

At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also Brit, your "gay Mormon" friends might be attracted/have loving sentiments towards other people of the same gender but from what I heard from my heterosexual Mormon friend gay Mormons don't have FULL relationships and therefore never fulfill their love for one antoher. So I hardly say they are "happy" gay Mormons.r

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Affordable web design said...

I have been shopping their for a long time as well, thank you for article and information about store's background. Now I need suggestion for a new place to shop in Los Feliz or surrounding areas

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Britt's comment has been a bit misunderstood. I believe that Britt was defending MORMONS, not the church or Lassen. She is saying that not all Mormons are anti-gay, and I agree that lumping all the Mormons together is just as bad as lumping together any group. Should you boycott Lassen's if you believe you should? Definitely. I, for one, completely agree with boycotting these organizations, as long as you don’t lump other people in with them. Saying all Mormons hate gays is just as bad as saying all Muslims are terrorists. To Britt, I have looked in the Bible and have been unable to find any mention of God instituting the actual practice of marriage, so unless I missed it or it's in your Book of Mormon, actual marriage was defined by humans. Both of our religions have, on several occasions, completely ignored and gone against what God has said. Jesus preached that the times of violence were at an end and that we should live in peace with one another. We Christians ignored that pretty well when we started the Crusades over a religious difference. Jesus also said that children should be the examples of perfect followers. If a child has not been taught any point of view on topics like these, they would not think of them as different. If you asked a child if two people who loved each other very much should be married, they would probably say yes. All branches of Christianity, including Mormons, failed to see this for a very significant portion of history, instead believing that what Jesus meant was that children had blind, unquestioning faith. You should also consider that direct intervention from God has, according to the Bible, been when the people needed guidance or protection, but that he gave us free will. I'm pretty sure God has better things to do than solve every argument we have. In the New Testament, Jesus preaches that you should love all equally. Do you think Jesus would find the idea of obstructing the marriage of homosexuals simply because he didn't specifically tell them NOT to okay? Imagine this scene: A child, after stealing a toy from his friend, is told by his mother "Never steal your friend's toys." The next day, the child steals the toys of a child who he does not know, and when the mother asked why, the child replies: "You didn't tell me I couldn't steal from HIM." Is this an acceptable excuse? Does God need to personally tell us every aspect of how to live our lives? I would like for everyone to think about their beliefs on this subject, and ask themself if they are correct. If you have no doubt, keep doing what you're doing. However, if you have even the slightest bit of doubt, do research on both sides of the argument until you can say you support a side without any doubt. Regardless of whether you have any doubt, try to take everyone's opinions seriously, even if you completely disagree. If you disagree, before saying anything ask yourself "Why did they say that? Did they have a point?" And then ask yourself "Why do I disagree with this? Do I have a valid reason to disagree?" If your reason for disagreeing is "Because that's what I was told/taught," that's not a valid reason to have an argument, and before saying anything, you should find a reason to either disagree or agree, and you should try to understand WHY the other person has the opinion that they do. Odds are, they have what seems like a perfectly valid reason to believe it, and you should ask them what it is. It'll help you understand the other side of the argument, as well as their intentions, and you will be able to better defend your own position if you know what problem they have with your position. They may also surprise you, and cause you to simply agree to disagree, such as someone who is against gay couples adopting children because they believe it would be unfair to the child because of the bullying this would cause. Above all, never lump people together, everyone has their own opinion and their own reasons.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Gay Economist said...



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