• Kentucky barbecue business catching heat for LGBTQ shirts

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. -

    A Kentucky barbecue business has some people doing a slow burn after advertising its T-shirts on social media that play off the LGBTQ acronym.

    Jamie Smith, the owner of Belle’s Smoking BBQ truck in Williamstown, changed the LGBTQ acronym to Liberty, Guns, Bible, Trump and BBQ, WXIX reported. He began selling the T-shirts two years ago.

    “I found the acronym on Facebook and I just added the Q,” Smith told the television station.

    The original LGBTQ acronym stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning affairs.

    After selling “nearly 100” T-shirts with his altered acronym, Smith decided to peddle the shirts on Facebook. Now, he is catching some heat from people who believe his play on words is insensitive.

    The post, which has since been taken down, was answered with messages labeling the shirts and the promotion “simple bigotry,” WXIX reported.

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    "I posted it at about 6, and at about 10 a.m. is when the threatening calls came," Smith told the Louisville Courier Journal. "Social media went berserk."

    Many of the comments came after the Louisville Fairness Campaign group, which fights gender and sexual discrimination, shared the post on its Facebook page, the newspaper reported.

    Chris Hartman, the group’s executive director, called Smith’s marketing plan “a bad idea.”

    "The first thing I thought when I saw it was, ‘What a bad idea,’" Hartman told the Courier Journal. "What a bad business model, to automatically isolate not just a segment of your potential customer base, but all of their family and friends."

    Smith took down the post, WXIX reported, replacing it with a note that read, in part, “We apologize if we have offended any groups of people, organizations or individuals with our shirts. We respect all beliefs and lifestyles and want no ill will towards anyone.”

    Despite the grilling, Smith said he will continue to sell the shirts, which are currently out of stock.

    “At the end of the day we have to stand for what we believe in and. like I said, if I offended anyone that wasn’t our intention but it was just a play on words," Smith told WXIX.

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