Lobethal bakery facebook backlash over homophobic letter to mt barker courier editor

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A SOCIAL media backlash has erupted over comments by an Adelaide Hills bakery owner criticising a local newspaper for “promoting gay and lesbians”.

Facebook users are calling for a boycott of the Lobethal Bakery, after a letter from one of its owners, Ruth Trinkle, was published in The Courier, of Mount Barker.

A Boycott Lobethal bakery for not supporting equality page was set up overnight and has since received more than 800 likes.

Ms Trinkle was criticised over her letter to the newspapers editor, which accused the paper of active promotion of the homosexuality campaign.

The first photo of the letter had been shared over 700 times since it was posted on Facebook.

The majority of the Hills community is Christian and my customers will be offended to read articles promoting gay (sic) and lesbians, she wrote.

I buy The Courier for my customers to read in our shop. I will stop buying the paper out of protest.

It would be an entirely different matter if your article was neutral or against.

It is understood Ms Trinkle is currently overseas.

Her brother-in-law and co-owner, Peter Trinkle, today released a public statement saying the bakerys staff are not homophobic.

The Lobethal Bakery would like to clarify that the letter to the editor in The Courier was not endorsed by the bakery, he said.

We strongly support the freedom of speech and do not discriminate by providing quality service to all customers.

Mr Trinkle said he had absolutely not rejected any customers based on gender or sexuality.

He said he had since received both negative and positive response from the community.

When asked if the incident would affect business, Mr Trinkle said well have to wait and see.

He said the bakery which has shops in Lobethal, Mt Barker, Woodside and Stirling remained supportive of The Courier.

Comments on the Facebook page had called for both boycotting the bakery and for people to deluge it with orders for rainbow cakes.

Margie Fischer, co-ordinator of Hills Feast Festival and Hills resident, said Ms Trinkle must have a very low opinion of her customers if she thought they would be offended by what was published in The Courier.

There are many lesbian and gay Christians who will be highly offended by you saying that being Christian and gay and lesbian are mutually exclusive, she said.

SA Commissioner for Equal Opportunity Anne Gale said Ms Trinkles letter was not unlawful under the Equal Opportunity Act because it was not directed at an individual.

It doesnt mean at a community level we would condone such actions, she said.

It is disappointing to see such comments towards homosexual people.

The Courier editor Ian Osterman stood by his decision to publish the letter.

Shes got the right to say it ... (the comment) doesnt get over the line, he said.

Shes probably not going to send in another letter any time soon.

He disputed the claim by Ms Trinkle that The Courier had run a homosexuality campaign.

Mr Osterman said the paper had published two stories based on Mt Barker Councils decision to fly the rainbow flag during Feast Festival.

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