November 9, 2013

Walmart story brings out annoying commentaries

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star


This week we broke a story about a local gay couple who were asked to leave the Chickasha Walmart due to their sexual orientation. Since equality for homosexuals is the major civil rights issue of our time, I had an inkling that this piece may gain some notoriety. It did, and after reviewing its aggregation on sites across the country I decided to address a few key misconceptions commenters continue to bring up. 


Wal-Mart is a company that hates all things gay. 


Now I will admit, Wal-Mart has a bit of a checkered past when it comes to LGBT issues. They have wavered on supporting LGBT rights in cases across the nation. However, this does not mean the actions of one janitor, at one location, represents the company's opinion as a whole. A spokesperson for Wal-Mart Corporate vehemently denounced the actions of this janitor. She was appalled, so I think it's safe to assume that Wal-Mart, like any major company, will try to err on the side of popular public opinion, which means they will not tolerate the actions of employees that can be construed as offensive. They let the janitor go, so it's obvious they are trying to make amends. 


These two need to be arrested for lewd activity. 


There is no evidence that lewd activity took place. I have seen so many comments from opinionated idiots across this great land making the claim that these two men must have obviously been doing something inappropriate to be thrown out.

That simply isn't the case. I know it's shocking, but homosexuals don't frolic about committing indiscriminate sexual acts any more than heterosexuals do. These people have made up their own reality and simply choose to drink their own nonsense. As I said before, the janitor was fired, so obviously Wal-Mart found he was in the wrong during their investigation and not the couple.


How did the janitor know the couple was gay? 


Well, that is a pickle. Obviously I wasn't there, so I didn't have the opportunity to interview the janitor, but I assume he figured out the their sexual orientation like anyone else. And what I mean by that is, it's not overly difficult to figure out whether or not two people are a couple. 


How do you properly spell Walmart, I mean Wal-Mart?


The Express-Star uses The Associated Press's stylebook, which is the case for most publications. Still, newspapers, news stations and web sites across the country seem to fly in the face of AP, and interchangeably include or leave the hyphen out in reference to Wal-Mart. In AP Style, you hyphenate when referencing Wal-Mart Corporate and combine when talking about a retail Walmart location. This bothered me too much not to address.