Friday, April 5, 2013

After posting a hatefilled post on his facebook page, local Smashburger owner Terry Henderson apologies  I found out about this post from this article. 
I then applied a twitter storm to let the local Smashburger know how upset I was at this action.

Kalamazoo WMU KVCC K @KalamazooMich2 AprKalamazoo @SmashburgerWMI Owner Bashes Marriage Equality, Defends Boy Scout Ban  @wmulbgt Retweeted by kazoodiver
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 Apr@smashburgerwmi so is it true ur ownr bashed Marriage equality? If so I can NEVER stepfoot in ur restaurant again! @wmulbgt @KalamazooMich
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 AprI sent a letter of the National Smashburger with my outrage of @SmashburgerWMI 's owners statements toward the LGBTQ Community @wmulgbt
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 AprI will NOT spend any money @ @SmashburgerWMI until the owner is no longer owning the store! Hate does not get my $ @KalamazooMich @wmulbgt
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 Apr@KGLRC_KZOO did you see the article about @SmashburgerWMI owner? …
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 Apr@SmashburgerWMI I should hope not but I need a public apology in the from of an official press release!
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 Apr@SmashburgerWMI depending on the senserity will I accept but I will NEVER FORGET! of the hate that was spewed! @YourAnonNews
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 Apr@KGLRC_KZOO please share the apology from @SmashburgerWMI ASAP! But the true apology is to Sell!
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 AprI feel really bad for the GREAT employees of @SmashburgerWMI always treated well by them & enjoyed going in for their service-theOwnerSucks!
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 Apr@SmashburgerWMI I agree the team at the Kalamazoo Smashburger is Fantastic, they provide great customer service!
kazoodiver @kazoodiver3 Apr@constanzz they have responded with an apology but I have not received the actual text they said they would send @SmashburgerWMI
RT if u agree that @Smashburger should SMASH the @SmashburgerWMI owner's LGBTQ hate!@wmulbgt @glaad @YourAnonNew

After the twitter storm by myself and other twitter users, SmashburgerWMI closed their twitter account.

I did receive an apology from the local Smashburger (Terry's wife):

Jean Henderson 
Apr 3 (2 days ago)

Dear Kzoodiver and valued Smashburger customer:

Your feelings are thoroughly understood and we are very, very sorry for all of the hurt that Terry Henderson's comments have caused. Terry is working through these hard times and asking for forgiveness knowing that his words were, as he has said, "not treating others in the way the he would want to be treated". He has personally apologized to our staff and is sorry for the hurt it has caused them. As you mentioned, they are are an amazing team who give outstanding service.

The Smashburger national office is handling most of the communications regarding this issue.  You might hear from them as well, but you have always been such a great supporter of our team, that we also wanted to respond locally and share with you some of the interactions that we have had with the LGBT community. You can also share this information with your friends.  

This is a note from Terry:

 “I sincerely regret the comments that I recently made on my personal Facebook page.  The comments were inappropriate and frankly un-Christian and I would like to apologize to the gay and lesbian community and all those who were offended.  I have taken down my Facebook page as I realize the hurtful impact my comments have had.”

 Terry Henderson  

This is a response from the KGLRC:

Dear Community, 
This morning the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center received an apology letter from Terry Henderson, Co-Owner of Smash Venture LLC.  He expressed his “sincere apologies for any and all who were affected” by his posts regarding his position against marriage equality.  He wanted us to know that his apology was not motivated by a desire “…to prevent any economic harm” to himself or his business but rather his desire to be more Christ-like in his actions
It takes a big person to stand up and admit that your actions could have had an adverse impact on the community in which you serve.  We commend Mr. Henderson for that.  We hope for a day when people like Mr. Henderson don’t think that we’re trying to force our beliefs on them, but are only trying to protect what we hold valuable – our families.  Marriage equality does not require anyone to compromise their religious beliefs.  It does not force religious institutions to change their doctrine around their deeply held beliefs about the institution of marriage.  The marriage equality movement is solely focused on the federal recognition of families that have not been the “traditional” model, but are still the foundation of loving households in our community.  And let us not forget that we were also at one time debating this in 1963, when the question of interracial marriage was being discussed in Loving v. Virginia.
A point of clarification: we never stated we were boycotting Smashburger.  We were just encouraging people to sponsor a lunch for volunteers who are working hard in Kalamazoo county to make sure that we are celebrating the diversity of our community that makes us one of the best places in Michigan – heck, in the world.  We live in a marketplace of ideas, and it is our responsibility to determine what ideas we choose to support – both with our vote at the ballot box and with the hard earned money that we spend in our communities.  That comes with where we choose to take our families for lunch, who takes our garbage from the curb, and who replaces the transmission in our 2005 Jeep Wrangler.
Thank you for the outpouring of support you showed during this week.  We are so proud of the community of Kalamazoo for showing that we are on the right side of history.
Very Best,
Zach Bauer, Executive Director

As mentioned, you may also receive an email from our national office. You honestly and concern are both appreciated. We are grateful to you for your business. 
The Smashburger Team

And here is the apology from the national office:

Ferris, Christine 
Apr 4 (1 day ago)

Hi Christopher,

At Smashburger, we see the world through the eyes of people looking for a great burger, a great experience and great overall energy.  We are a place for everyone.  Recently, comments made by an independent franchisee were brought to our attention.  Since then, the franchisee, on his own accord, has retracted his comments and apologized.  His comments in no way reflect the point of view of Smashburger.  We value all our customers and employees and are committed to treating all with dignity and respect.


Christine Ferris
Social Media Coordinator
smashburger ®
1515 Arapahoe St.
Tower 1, 10th Floor  
Denver, CO 80202

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