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What's Wrong With Shopping at Lassen's?

Would you patronize a nearby health food store that funded the 2008 Prop. 8 ballot against gay marriage?

Whether out of convenience or insufficient information—or because of a failure to see anything wrong—many of us tend to continue shopping at stores caught in the glare of media criticism or the swirl of local politics.

Past examples include the hugely disruptive 2003-04 citywide strike (and subsequent lockout) at grocery chain stores—a time when everybody knew somebody who crossed the picket lines to do their shopping.

And now shoppers in Eagle Rock and its vicinity face another such moment—and a corresponding question: Would they shop at a local health food store known for helping fund the 2008 Proposition 8 ballot initiative calling for a ban on gay marriage?

The store in question is Lassen’s, part of the organic food chain by the same name, which recently opened shop on Hillhurst Avenue in nearby Los Feliz on the same property where a previous organic food store, Nature Mart, was based (but lost its lease).

A campaign to get people to sign an online petition to boycott Lassen’s new store is currently underway—as of 5 p.m. on Monday, the effort had garnered exactly 1,001 signatures.

We’d like to know how Eagle Rockers feel about this issue. Where do you stand on the question of whether to shop at Lassen’s or not, given the business’s open support for an issue that many Americans clearly don’t agree with?

mml34 November 15, 2011 at 01:53 AM
Mormon hate get outta my state! Why would anyone want to line the pockets of a business owned/run by people who seek to oppress others?
Tibor Balazs November 15, 2011 at 04:48 AM
Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I will take all my business to Lassen's from now one and please stop lying about this issue. Most Americans are against same sex marriage, including myself. Since I am part of the majority I am sufficiently discussed with your attitude and childish attempt to even trying to demonize people who don't happened to agree with your views. I hope one day you will get it back on your end and be ostracized for YOUR views. You are trying to limit if not take away our right to exercise free speech, the very same that tolerates your ideas. Shame on you! Lassen's will thrive on my dollars!!!!!!
jayres November 15, 2011 at 09:19 AM
I don't get this attempt to undermine a business that provides jobs to members of the community, simply because the politics/religious beliefs of the owner. Lassen's says the company doesn't discriminate against gays whether as patrons or employees, which it claims it has in managerial positions. At what point did liberalism become the ideology of tolerance so long as you don't disagree. When the owner of Whole Foods wrote an open letter critical of Obamacare for a handful of valid reasons, liberals called for a boycott. When Target owners gave money to a conservative organization that in turn gave money to support Prop 8, among other things, liberals pushed for a boycott. Has anyone ever shopped at the Target at Santa Monica and LaBrea? I can assure you Target does not discriminate. Not only are some employees gay, but transgendered as well. I wondered if Ajay would like to disclose all of his political contributions so that I can decide if I can in good conscience continue to read the Eagle Rock Patch? I hope you didn't support Prop 13 the initiative regarding seismic retrofitting. mml34 wants to silence free speech because in his mind its hate. its the mormons he says. I have news for you, it wasn't the mormons who passed Prop 8, 70% of African Americans, 53% of Latinos voted in favor of it, many of whom were first time voters excited about electing Obama. Isn't that a kicker, all those libs who worked so hard to register voters, undercut their own agenda in the process.
Little Lebowski November 15, 2011 at 03:29 PM
This is a typical reaction from the right. Homophobes are called out for supporting discrimination, then self-righteously complain that others are "intolerant" of their views and hampering their "free speech". By this logic, if someone refuses to patronize a shop with a swastika on its front door, they are "trying to limit if not take away the store's right to exercise free speech." Guess what: nothing is stopping Lassen's from exercising their right to free speech or believing whatever they want. However, their freedom of speech does not provide a guarantee that we have to shop there.
Little Lebowski November 15, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Once again, jayres, this is not a free speech issue. This is simply capitalism and free markets at work. I thought you guys were in favor of that? Chick Fil A contributes to all sorts of right wing causes, and their business is thriving. If you agree with Lassen's, then you and your ilk should continue to support them and shop there. Read the Bill of Rights. The government does not provide a guarantee that your health food store will be successful.
Patricia Duran November 15, 2011 at 05:09 PM
It's a very American and democratic form of action to choose to express opinions by demonstration and boycott. In the name of choice, why get personal and slander? Have some tolerance for your neighbor and appreciate that all opinions can work side by side in a democratic country. If you don't like my choice then keep on going....continue to hate and increase your anger and explode at the expense of your own personal well being. Your choice.
Patrick Lee November 15, 2011 at 05:16 PM
jayers: Thanks for your comment. As to your question about Ajay, we at Patch believe in full disclosure of our views and transparency. You can read about Ajay's political beliefs here: http://eaglerock.patch.com/users/ajay-singh
STARCHY November 16, 2011 at 08:05 PM
Hey Tibor. Since when are civil rights up for majority vote? Why do YOU get to tell OTHERS what they can or should do? And how is YOUR free speech being taken away, or how are YOU being ostericized? America is a great country and people are free to be uninformed bigoted morons - lucky for you...
STARCHY November 16, 2011 at 08:08 PM
I dont know "at what point" but I can tell you FOR SURE that the Mormon Church (out of UTAH!!!) poured resources and dollars into a CALIFORNIA initiative. Maybe you are ok with a Cult of Religious Zealots working behind the scenes to subvert our political process- I am not.
STARCHY November 16, 2011 at 08:13 PM
As long as YOU (Hugh) continue to suppress the civil rights of your fellow citizens YOU SHOULD be called out for your shameful believes. Were you cool with "separate but equal"? Did you like it when women were not allowed to vote? And I'll bet you thought it was a great idea to intern Chinese American citizens after Pearl Harbor right?
jayres November 16, 2011 at 08:37 PM
@STARCHY Maybe you should audit an American history class at Oxy because I don't remember Chinese internment camps after the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th 1941. A date which will live in infamy, well, for most of us anyway. What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! --Bluto Animal House - 1978
Andrew Hindes November 17, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Unfortunately, this thread demonstrates the almost universal problem with (largely) anonymous onilne forums like these. The rhetoric gets amped up so quickly that STARCHY is accusing Hugh T.--an avowed opponent of Prop 8--of supressing civil rights simply for advocating a moderate approach to the Lassen's boycott question. I'm sure it was Ajay's intention to spur debate (and Eagle Rock Patch page views) with this question, but the sad result is inflammatory language that unecessarily pits essentially likeminded neighbors against one another in what feels like a somewhat fabricated "issue." Lassen's isn't really in our neighborhood and I'm not sure a huge number of Eagle Rockers shop there anyway.
Sarah Bucolic November 17, 2011 at 08:16 PM
I think the problem here is that the people who actually vote do not actually look at the real issues. We have the passionate voters on both sides and then the new inexperienced ones who vote a certain way because of their parents or their friends' way of voting. As for Lassen's, I do not shop over there in that area and don't plan on ever shopping there. I like shopping in Eagle Rock and even when I had moved away for a while I still came to Eagle Rock for my shopping. Now if a place I shop at openly funds something I am against why would I continue to shop there anyway? You are basically helping them fund their homophobic campaign by giving them your money. If the owner is donating his own personal money that's his business I guess, but if he is using money made by the business it opens the business up for protests and boycotting. By using company funds the owner then involves the customers and employees since it is now the company supporting the anti gay campaign. It'd be a different story if it was just the owner individually.
cald90041 November 18, 2011 at 02:02 AM
Why is the patch reporting on a market in Los Feliz? The Eagle Rock Patch is a great idea and somthing our old community/ new life blood needs. I am almost certain there are better, more local political stories out there. Even though I am "hardcore" against prop 8, let's get the patch to do local stories on what Eagle Rockers are doing to support same sex marriges! I am certain Los Feliz can handle their own.
Bud Strong November 18, 2011 at 05:06 AM
Yah - been wondering 'bout that too. Let the Los Feliz peeps deal with their own neighborhood issues. Back to the news of Eagle Rock, please.
Patrick Lee November 18, 2011 at 05:21 PM
Hi cald90041 and Bud: You make fair points. We thought this story would be of interest to Eagle Rockers, but we hear you and will redouble our efforts to cover Eagle Rock stories first.
Ajay Singh (Editor) November 18, 2011 at 06:28 PM
Eagle Rock news is this site's primary focus—and thanks for your thoughts, Andrew—but, as Patrick points out, I did think the Lassen's controversy would interest our readers, especially in light of the California Supreme Court advisory ruling yesterday that the law entitles Prop. 8 sponsors to argue their case in a federal court. But back to Eagle Rock!

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