Replacements Limited Needs Your Help
By Jerry Portwood
Replacements Limited is one of those companies that you probably don't think much about (but your mother and grandmother do). It sells silver, china and glassware, and is based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Its founder and chairman, Bob Page, who is gay, stood up for a cause when North Carolina put marriage equality up for a vote in the state (which passed and now limits rights for many North Carolinians, gay and straight).
As the New York Times reports, "The company lobbied legislators, contributed money to causes supporting gay marriage, rented a billboard along the interstate near its headquarters, and sold T-shirts at its showroom. Its experience may explain why no other for-profit company followed its example." Now Page, and the company have seen a deluge of hate mail and are losing business. The company's legal counsel is worried for Page's safety.
The 67-year-old Page told the Times "he didn’t like politics and wasn’t 'extreme,' or 'in your face' about being gay. But, he added: 'I just refuse to hide. I did that way too many years and it’s just not healthy.' ”
It's a touching and heartwarming story and has sparked some to call for support of the company.
As one concerned person wrote on their Facebook page: "He's a gay man, a partner, and a father of two boys. The way he talks about his own life and his desire to help other people is incredibly moving to me, particularly as a Southerner who has experienced homophobia below the Mason-Dixon line. So let's maybe order a dish from his store, you know?"