Lassen’s Natural Foods & Vitamins – Over 30 years in business serving California with the finest natural foods and supplements available.
Although Ventura County’s largest gay and lesbian organization has not organized a protest against the store, some activists have independently targeted it. Handmade signs calling for people to boycott Lassen’s were on display at a rally of some 600 people Saturday in downtown Ventura, and a small group protested Sunday outside the Lassen’s store in Thousand Oaks.
Gay activists say the backlash against Lassen’s and other businesses that financially supported Proposition 8 is likely to intensify, fueled by text messages, e-mails and calls for action on Web sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
“There is definitely a movement to educate people,” said J.J. Wilner of Ventura, who criticized the owner of the Lassen’s store in Ventura forpromoting a position that he said conflicts with the egalitarian beliefs of many customers.
“People have always seen Lassen’s as progressive and forward-thinking,” said Wilner, co-founder of Community Organized for Liberty, Opportunity and Respect, or COLOR, a gay-straight alliance. “I know a lot of customers â€” gay and straight â€” who felt blindsided.”
State campaign finance records show the Ventura store contributed separate checks of $25,000 and $2,500 to Proposition 8. The Lassen’s in Camarillo also contributed $3,000 to the proposition, and the store in Simi Valley $1,000. Election law allows business owners to contribute as much as they want to ballot initiatives.
Next, will likely be the extortion request for business donations to overturn Proposition 8 that was passed on November 4th by over half a million votes. Sound familiar?
Looking at the demographics of the Lassen’s stores, Flap doubts any reduction in business will occur in the majority of their stores. Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Bakersfield are not bastions of support for left-wing thought or protest (Ventura and Kerns Counties overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8). And, Lassen’s has been doing business for many years in left-leaning bastions of Ventura and Santa Barbara.
Most customers will have this philosophy:
In the parking lot outside the Ventura store recently, longtime customer Christine Burke said she voted against Proposition 8 and was disappointed to learn of Lassen’s support, but it wouldn’t change her shopping habits. “I believe he has the right to believe in what he believes in,” she said. “It’s a complex issue.”
Shopper Chris Hoover, a Ventura contractor, agreed. “I don’t support his point of view,” he said, “but I think he has a right to it.”
And, the next time Flap gets his haircut, instead of moaning about the lack of parking because of all of the Lassen’s shoppers in the lot, he will instead go into the store and buy something.
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