Steve Salyers, devout Christian and owner of Arkansas flea market Spa City Treasures, had his faith assaulted this past Saturday when a lesbian couple entered his store and -- brace yourselves -- held hands there. Right inside the store, just like common harlots. Naturally, Salyers spoke up and asked the couple, Ashley Looper and Jessica Perkins, to stop it immediately, for the children. While the couple say they were not getting "handsy" and were literally just walking around, holding hands and looking at dismbodied doll heads or whatever (watch the video here, there are totally creepy disembodied doll heads, ok?), they were apparently unaware that hand-holding is basically third-base in whatever sect Salyers belongs to, or at least a practice best reserved for strip clubs.


"I'm a family person so I want this to be a family store," Salyers said. "It's like I wouldn't want to take my kids to a strip club or something."

Salyers said he approached the couple after they shopped for about an hour.

"They were loving on each other a lot and holding hands and they pretty much did it the whole way through the store," he said. "I just felt like they were just doing something that was inappropriate to have kids around. That's all. It would have been the same whether it had been regular people or not. I was as polite as I could and said, 'Please don't do it while you're in the store.' Didn't ask them to leave. Didn't escort them outside."

Yes. Just so you know, lesbians, Salyers is traumatized by "regular people" hand-holding as well. It's not just you. It's all of the sinful hand-holding, across the board. Do that in your own homes, people, because wholesome Christian flea market owners just will not stand for it!

For their part, Looper and Salyers insist they were not doing anything wrong, and that there is "nothing wrong" with hand-holding:

"Holding someone's hand, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that," Looper said. "We're your average couple. We want to be treated that way. I'm not ashamed, she's not ashamed."

"Our families aren't ashamed," Perkins added. "We're not doing this for attention. We're just trying to let the LGBT community know that if you go in this place, you are going to be discriminated. You can't be who you are. I thought people were changing and more accepting. It hurt more than anything, like he tried to shame us."

Following the incident, Looper and Perkins totally overreacted and told all their LGBT friends about Salyers's anti-lesbian hand-holding policy, and they summarily flooded the store's Facebook page with all kinds of comments about how maybe Salyers is a raging homophobe/asshole. How is that even fair? He was just trying to protect the children! Children who may not have ever seen anyone holding hands before!

Salyers says he is anti-PDA for EVERYONE, not just the gays. Which is fair! So am I! I actually hate hand-holding because I need my hands free for talking! But as much as I may roll my eyes at same-side-of-the-booth-sitters, I do not actually walk up to them and tell them to stop. You know, because it actually isn't any of my business. Perhaps Salyers, too -- now that his Facebook page is flooded with comments about what a jerk he is -- will learn that some battles are not worth fighting, what with them being none of his business and all.

[Towleroad | KARK-TV]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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