DENISON, Tex. (WTEN/CNN) — One parent shopping for Easter clothes for her daughter left a Texas store without reason to celebrate, saying the store clerk reacted negatively when her daughter wanted to wear a traditional boys suit.
The sites and sounds of downtown Denison were alive Saturday during the city’s art walk.
Among festival-goers was five-year-old Maddie, who played in bounce houses until her mom pulled her away to pick out an Easter outfit.
“She’s a tom boy,” Jennifer Giordano said of her daughter. “She’s preferred to dress in boys clothes since she was about three-years-old.”
So when they walked into Martha’s Miniatures, filled with frilly dresses, mom was not surprised she wanted an Easter suit traditionally worn by boys. But when the clerk realized it was a little girl trying on suits, Giordano said the reaction was different,
“The woman’s face was just a face of disgust,” she said. “She told me that I was promoting wrong behavior. That parents should not let their children choose the way that they dress if it’s cross-gendered”
Upset, Giordano posted to Facebook. When friends responded by giving the business one-star reviews, a Facebook post by Martha’s Miniatures seemed to affirm the feeling.
Saying “I was so shocked she asked for a boys suit for the child. I asked her why she was encouraging this.” Another post went on to read “This is child abuse from the mother.”
The store’s Facebook Page has since been removed.
KTEN went by the store, but it wasn’t open during it’s usual posted business hours.
Multiple phone calls and a trip to the owner’s home were also not reciprocated.
Cities like Austin, Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth have ordinances against business discrimination, but that is not the case in Grayson County.
“It depends on what they’re refusing the service for,” said attorney Bobbie Peterson-Cate. “For sexual orientation, no, it is not illegal.”
Legal, but not necessarily a good business move. Giordano said the business didn’t refuse service, because she wasn’t going to purchase anything after the exchange.
“People don’t need to pick on little kids for what they’re wearing,” Giordano said.
Mom not only left with a crying child, but she took her business to JC Penney’s, where Maddie finally got that Easter suit.
Giordano says she wasn’t technically refused service because she wasn’t going to buy anyway.