Garden Guy Refuses To Work For Gays

UPDATE: Garden Guy Homophobia Applauded By Area Newspaper

Garden Guy, Inc declined to do landscaping on Michael and Gary’s new house because they are gay.

From: Garden Guy Inc
Date: October 18, 2006 9:08:36 AM CDT
To: [redacted]
Subject: Cancel Appt -Garden Guy

Dear Mr. L [redacted]

I am appreciative of your time on the phone today and glad you contacted us. I need to tell you that we cannot meet with you because we choose not to work for homosexuals.

Best of luck in finding someone else to fill your landscaping needs.

All my best,


Todd and Sabrina Farber
Owners, Garden Guy, Inc.
visit us at:

The mind boggles.

Plus, it’s illegal to discriminate in this way, right?

Well the email is forwarding around the net and it’s got a lot of people adding some interesting posts to the Garden-Guy message board.

What is it with garden companies hating on gays anyway? Remember this post? Outside Pride Lawncare Hates Faggy CBS

Full rendering of the forward, inside.

> From: L, Gary (Operations)

> Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:14 AM

> To: [redacted

> Cc: Michael L.

> Subject: FW: Cancel Appt -Garden Guy
> As most of you know, Michael and I are in the process of building a
> house. As the finish date draws near, we’ve begun the process of
> looking for a landscape designer. Please see below for the note we
> received from one of the companies we contacted. I’m still shocked
> at the ignorance that exists in today’s society.
> Hopefully, you’ll choose never to patronize their business, and
> will ask the same from your friends and family.
> Regards,
> Gary
> From: Michael L.
> Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 9:17 AM
> To: L., Gary (Operations)
> Subject: Fwd: Cancel Appt -Garden Guy
> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: Garden Guy Inc
>> Date: October 18, 2006 9:08:36 AM CDT
>> To: [redacted]
>> Subject: Cancel Appt -Garden Guy
>> Dear Mr. L.,
>> I am appreciative of your time on the phone today and glad you
>> contacted us. I need to tell you that we cannot meet with you
>> because we choose not to work for homosexuals.
>> Best of luck in finding someone else to fill your landscaping needs.
>> All my best,
>> Sabrina
>> Todd and Sabrina Farber
>> Owners, Garden Guy, Inc.
>> visit us at:
>> Member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers
>> Creating beautiful landscaping for Houston homeowners since 1991!
>> Phone 281-208-4400
>> Fax 1+801-365-9353
>> email:
>> email:


Edit Your Comment

  1. AcilletaM says:

    Not sure its illegal. There’s no right to have lawn care company do your lawn.

    The website has this on it:

    The God-ordained institution of marriage is under attack in courts across the nation, and your help is needed.
    Go to: to take action.

    Ephesians 5:8 (Amplified Bible)
    …For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light and lead the lives of those native-born to the Light.

    That’s a pretty big clue something like this may happen.

  2. Drinker Nisti says:

    It probably is legal, unfortunately. (That Lawncare Rights Amendment hasn’t been signed yet. Damn Republicans…) Doesn’t mean you have to give them any future business. That reminds me– My brother just bought a house in Houston. I’m sending him some email…

  3. major disaster says:

    In theory this might fall under the Civil Rights Act if a gardening company was considered a public accomodation (not sure – intuitively it seems like it should be, but who knows). However, even if it is, gays are not a federally protected class. Some states might have their own antidiscrimination laws that do protect gays, but I doubt Texas is one of them.

  4. Drinker Nisti says:

    The Farbers also have neglected to send in their APLD dues. Bigots AND False Advertisers!

  5. mschlock says:

    It’s legal to be an ass, but it’s just as legal to forward evidence of assery to all one’s friends in Houston. I just hope this is real.

  6. Omni Consumer Products says:

    I clearly need a lesson in discrimination law… Why is it legal for these numbskulls to deny service to someone because of sexual orientation, wheras it’s illegal for slop buckets like Crackerbarrel restaurants to refuse to hire homosexuals? (it really was their policy a couple years ago) I’ve seen those signs in stores that say “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” but I never thought that could be applied to a blanket race, religion, or sexual orientation.

    If there’s a silver lining to any of this, Michael and Gary clearly avoided some awful looking landscaping… did you see the pictures on the website? Looks like the Home Depot school of landscape design. Those bigots need to pick up a DWELL magazine once and a while.

  7. Dagonis says:

    Maybe I have totally missed something, but how did they know they were gay?

  8. major disaster says:

    Why is it legal for these numbskulls to deny service to someone because of sexual orientation, wheras it’s illegal for slop buckets like Crackerbarrel restaurants to refuse to hire homosexuals?

    Unless it’s in a state with an antidiscrimination statute that protects gays, it is in fact legal to refuse to hire them. Unfortunate, but it is. According to this article, Cracker Barrel’s change in policy was voluntary (due to boycots and shareholder outcry), not due to legal action. (Also noted in that article are complaints about gender and racial discrimination – those things are covered under federal law.)

  9. andresb says:

    Um, you guys redacted his last name in the intro, put his first name in right after the jump, and then his last name in the copy of the bigot’s e-mail post-jump. So yeah, Michael Lord is gay and has an unfinished lawn, but who gives a shit about the gay part?

  10. inzain says:

    Their website:
    Their email address:

    From their “about” page:
    The God-ordained institution of marriage is under attack in courts across the nation, and your help is needed. Go to: to take action.

    I’m surprised the gay guys who wanted to hire them didn’t see that.

  11. Vinny says:

    I’m pretty sure there’s nothing illegal about it. That being said, you can bet these guys are gonna catch plenty of shit for it.

  12. davidmsc says:

    Wow – quite a lot of activity on their forum. I have a question, however: has anyone been able to confirm that the Farbers did indeed send that e-mail? I have trouble believing that a business owner would send something that would land them in such hot water. If they DID send it, then they probably deserve all of the negative publicity…but if for some reason this is a hoax, or perhaps a prank by a rival company or disgruntled employee or something like that, then the Farbers are being subjected to a horrible experience.

  13. MattyMatt says:

    I wonder what that policy is intended to accomplish. Did they hope Michael would weigh his options, and decide it was easier to straighten out than to forego their valuable sod?

    And what do they think would happen if they did do work for a homosexual? “Damn, that wiley butt pirate tricked us into installing a decorative boulder. Now we’re one step closer to the end of marriage!”

  14. soulbarn says:

    Sadly, those bigoted bastards will absolutely LOVE whatever firestorm they’re in for…nothing is more affirming to these yahoos than stuff that makes them feel as if they’re going through the trials of Christ on the cross themselves.

  15. Chaluapman says:

    I call bullshit. The url for the forum is an IP address instead of a domain name and I find it really hard to believe that a business would say this.

    I think its made up.

  16. homerjay says:

    Looks like the Forum is down now. As for the pictures on their site, There are several that are straight out of the Microsoft Images Library. I know because I’ve used them for my own marketing pieces. Nice…

  17. squidhat says:

    Trials of Job might be more appropriate since they will be itching their swollen sores while they dig through a trash bin for their next meal when their business goes belly up. I wonder what happened to Christian fraternity and love when you became a social pariah/internet flame war legend.

  18. SpamFighterLoy says:

    Unless you are a critical service (like food or medicine) or a government agency, it is legal to refuse to serve patrons because you don’t like their *insert bigotry device here*

    However, in most states, you’d have a heck of a time refusing to hire them under discriminatory laws. The opportunity to earn a living is considered a critical service. So, Garden Guys can refuse to sod their lawn but they could be forced into a position of hiring them.

    God, I love the American legal system…

  19. Falconfire says:

    hate to break it to you, but it is unfortunatly legal as accourding to most state and fed laws, sexual orientation is not a protected right.

    Course same sex marrage really is the least of the Christians concerns about their fictional “God-ordained institution of marriage.” Maybe they should all start reading their ten commandments first and thus stop the 60% divorce rate Christians have, most due to cheating.

  20. kerry says:

    AFAIK, if you don’t claim to be an equal opportunity anything, you’re not required by law to not be a bigot.
    That said, I’m also curious as to how they knew the landscaping-seekers were homos and why they care. Matty’s comment was particularly insightful on that point. “Oh no! Calla lilies! We’re all going to hell!” I kind of wish these people were anything I could boycott. I do love a nice self-rightous ban on consumption.

  21. Mike_ says:

    I’ve got a sneaking suspicion these folks are in for one “Hell” of a surprise when their time on this Earth is over. If Jesus ran a landscaping company, He would love all of His customers. I’m pretty sure that’s what kind of guy He was.

    Here’s another one of my crackpot theories: When God commands us not to take His name in vain, what He really means is “don’t do bad things and and say it was My idea”. So when you use Christianity as an excuse for being a bigoted asshole, you’re really pissing off the big guy upstairs.

    Enjoy eternal hellfire, chumps.

  22. BigDoggyDog says:

    Grief, why is this in here any way? Isn’t this a morality question, not a Consumer issue?

    And what would make you think it would be illegal? Isn’t there some kind of freedom as individuals to choose our own morality?

    I agree that Jesus would serve them, but there’s still a choice. If a Christian company chooses not to they have that right. Would you force a black man to do work for a KKK member?

  23. Kangarara says:

    What is it with garden companies hating on gays anyway

    Ah, methinks you have confused causation & correlation. It’s not that that garden companies develop hatred for gays, it’s that the kind of people who hate gays end up forming garden companies.

    Why, you ask?

    Nice answer:
    They’re communing with God’s wonder and trying to recapture the lost paradise of the garden of Eden.

    Real answer:
    Dreary manual labour is the only kind of work they can get after a lifetime of bullshit ‘the earth is only 6000 yrs old’ homeschooling that prevents sane, rational people from hiring them or paying them a living wage. That’s also why they’re bitter and hateful.

  24. homerjay says:

    Your theory is interesting Kangarara, but how does it explain the apparent financial success of most scientologists? :)

  25. timmus says:

    What an ass. This guy makes me ashamed to be a Texan.

  26. Blue says:

    What else can we expect from Texas! They hate America. They killed Kenedy, gave us Vietnam(Jhonson), and Irag (W).

  27. Blue says:

    Oh……….I forgot………Enron

  28. Charmander says:

    As a small business owner, you have the right to pick and choose who you do business with. I’m not really arguing with that part of it.

    But why a company like that choose to loudly proclaim what small-minded, bigoted assholes they are? They deserve all the bad publicity that is going to come back and bite them in the ass.

  29. Chongo says:

    >> Member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers

    I’m thinking someone should contact the above Association and see what they have to say about this kind of crap.

  30. Just out of curiousity, how did the landscaping service determine that the customer was homosexual? Was he wearing his gay badge or something? Was there a questionairre?

    Gay or straight, I don’t think I’d want a landscaping service that was interested in my personal life to be mowing my lawn…Just mow the f’ing lawn and I’ll give you the f’ing money.

  31. Polymath says:

    The ‘about’ page it shows a pic of the Todd and Sabrina Farber family. I bet the kids are named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Although the baby looks like a girl… Johnnette maybe? Or Mary!

  32. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    “Just out of curiousity, how did the landscaping service determine that the customer was homosexual? “

    Well when two guys share a small house together and make a joint decision on a landscaping company it’s probably a safe bet that they’re gay. How many straight roomates really care about landscaping?

    I’m guessing this company decided to err on the side of caution and refused to do business with anyone who could possibly be gay…you know so they don’t accidently work for one and end up in hell.

  33. cooper says:

    I’m really surprised at the people who think it’s illegal to discriminate against gays, especially in Texas.

    This guy hasn’t the business sense to be successful. Damn homophobe Aggies keep giving the rest of us a bad name.

  34. DeeJayQueue says:

    The phone conversation that probably led Garden Guys to believe that the customer was a gay:

    Garden Guys: Thank yew for callin garden guys this is Sabrina speakin how can ah help yeeewww?

    Customer: Yes Hi, I saw your ad in xx magazine and my partner and I were interested in contracting your company to do some landscaping services.

    GG: Your p..p..partner and yew? Hmm, ok. Let me jest get mah quote book here, oh good lordy me, ah seem to have misplaced it. Alls ah see are bahbels ever where. Cin ah call yew raght bayak?

    C: Uhh, sure.


    It’s not illegal to discriminate who you do business with, and if they don’t want to work for the gays that’s their perogative. However they made a conscious choice to SAY that in a letter, which was completely ridiculous. They could have just said “Sorry, we can’t do the work for you.” End of discussion. The fact that they felt compelled to pen a letter explaining exactly why they couldn’t do the business means that they are dyed in the wool, no-clue-that-there’s-anything-wrong-with-that-kind-of -behaviour bigots. There is no place for them in the world of business and I sincerely hope that the firestorm of negative word of mouth in Texas and countrywide takes their business and rends it into so much compost.

  35. Triteon says:

    It may be silly and ignorant, but this contractor is within his rights to refuse service. And Acilleta makes a good point in the first comment. As for determining their sexual preference…:)
    Only steers and queers come from Texas, Private Cowboy. And you don’t look much like a steer to me so that kinda narrows it down. –Gunny Hartman

  36. thrillhouse says:

    not only are gays not a protected class, but Texas also has anti-sodomy laws – gay or straight.

  37. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    Yeah, sadly it’s legal, unless they’re in one of the few states that outlaws blanket discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. They SO deserve what they’re gonna get, though.

    I loved Mike_’s point about the Commandment and it inspired a blog post. if you wanna see your name in incredibly unfamous print, dude. ;)

  38. This guy hasn’t the business sense to be successful.

    I don’t understand hating anyone so much you don’t want to take their money. You’d think they’d overcharge people they don’t like.

    But then, I don’t understand bigots at all.

  39. Principia says:

    I don’t understand hating anyone so much you don’t want to take their money. You’d think they’d overcharge people they don’t like

    So why did white-run businesses in the South refuse to serve black customers on an equal basis, versus providing the same services but charging a premium?

    I’m sure both of these all-too-similar batches of yahoos would consider it beneath them to serve people they consider to be so lowly. Which is rather distinctly antithetical to Christ’s message, but since when did that stop anyone from being hateful?

    As to the matter of why Michael and Gary chose to contact these folks: I’ve recently had some contracting work done myself, and suspect that they put a generic request-for-proposal out through one of the many referral aggregation sites out there. Speaking of which, if that is indeed where M and G found these people, it might well behoove them to let any and all such locations know of this company’s conduct.

  40. Ben Popken says:

    Joshua writes:

    “while i’m not gay (ladies take note) i’m really offended by this. I tried calling them for more info or confirmation but I just get a voicemail with no other options”

  41. girlwithsoul says:

    The company found out they were gay because Sabrina Farber kept referring to the man’s wife to which he replied….actually it’s my partner. Five minutes later they got the fateful email from the company.

    What a terrible example of who Texans are.

  42. SupaDave says:

    C’mon, this site is begging to be hacked.

    Someone get in there and change it to “Garden Gay Inc”

    Not that I condone such behavoir.

  43. SupaDave says:

    Ooh ooh “Harden Gay Inc”. Ok, I’ll stop now.

  44. SupaDave says:

    Ooh Oooh “Harden Gay Inc”. Ok, I’ll stop now.

  45. sonic0boom says:

    Thrillhouse, if I’m not mistaken, the supreme court struck down all anti-sodomy laws a few years ago. Regardless, there was one here at one time, not to mention at least a dozen or more other states.

  46. fidgit says:

    to the Lord Couple: here’s an Idea! Perhaps this is the Goddess’s way of redirecting you to find a landscape designer who can install a sustainable, bio intensive, organic garden on your lot. It will attract many fairies to your home…

    much love, Carolyn

  47. Tonguetied says:

    I’m not sure why everyone seems to think that it’s so ‘unfortunate’ that this company gets to pick and choose who they work for. It’s a ‘free’ country. People are allowed to be stupid and make stupid decisions. It is the gardener’s financial loss to make the decision they did. Be upset about it and don’t patronize them but be aware that people get to make their own choices in life.

    It’s a two way street. I get to choose who I do business with and the people I do business with get to choose whether or not they are doing business with me.

  48. Citron says:

    According to the message board, they’re not even members of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. So, on top of being bigoted, they lie.

  49. cooper says:

    sonicoboom: the law was deemed unconstitutional but the texas legislature (er, courts?) have not actually removed it from the books.

  50. sonic0boom says:

    Thanks, Cooper. I wonder how awkward it is to have to be the police officer who gets to enforce and crack down on sodomy.

  51. SeattleTexan says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with what the landscape designer did. As a matter of fact I think Sabrina was right to be “straight” about their business decision. Because that is a business decision. People are not always going to believe the same things and we all make economic decisions based on our convictions. I choose to not ever eat at CrackerBarrel because their majority owner is the Southern Baptist Church and for years they had an employment policy that did not include homosexuals. I think they have changed it but I still don’t ever go there. Also, I resent any restaurant that forces people to wait in their gift shop for twenty minutes before being seated.

    The point is, I don’t understand the outrage. There are always other people out there that are happy to take our money and ultimately we make the decision where to place it.

  52. synergy says:

    The Supreme Court struck down the Texas anti-sodomy laws in Nov. 2003.

  53. aubietexas75 says:

    I think we have these homophobe’s email adress so I say lets let them know what we think. I think the saddest thing is that all the mega homo hating churches in Houston have a landscape company to patronize. Watch the Church Bullitens around town they will most likely instuct thier flocks to re do thier lawns and use the Garden Guy and the brainwashed baptists will fall right in and make the Garden guy very wealthy from all of this.

  54. sally125 says:

    Many Christians insist that God can change/cure the homosexual. In the book The Third Sex there are six reported cases of homosexuals whom God has “cured.” Of these six, at least four are known to have returned to their gay lifestyle. (Christianity Today, February 1981) Many lesbians and gays spend most of their lives trying, with no success, to persuade God to change them. It is like trying to get God to change your eye color. What option, then, is left to these persons? They have been told that they can’t be gay and Christian. Since all efforts have failed in their struggle not to be gay or lesbian, then their only recourse, according to the Church, is that they can’t be Christian. So, the Church has discounted or discarded as much as 10% of the population.

    If they are excluded from the life of the Christian community, who, then, will tell them of God’s inclusive love and of Jesus’ reconciling death? Are they left to assume that God is so narrow-minded as to exclude them for something over which they have no control and for a choice they did not make? When will the Church finally be brave enough to say with Paul, “in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female,” gay or straight? God has enough love for all!

  55. KYBluesky says:

    So if I have this straight…self-professed Christians are refusing to do the Lord’s landscaping? Whoa. There’s a parable in there somewhere.

    Thanks Mike, for the excellent insight regarding using God’s name in vain. It’s not just for cursing anymore. Right on, Sally.

  56. Dakota_John says:

    “Treating you with respect and honesty are the cornerstones of our reputation”

    This is on their web page. What asshats! This lady could have said, “We will not be able to provide you service.” That’s all.
    Sort of like the restaurant owner that has a sign that say’s “We reserve the right not to serve you.”

    I hope this company goes out of business. Wake up and smell the Starbucks! What, if we don’t follow your way (Garden Guy’s) of thinking we will end up in hell and a shity lawn?

  57. Boltonism says:

    I live in Texas, and I am gay. Lived in Houston most of my life.

    As much as I might disagree with their policy, and find it homophobic, discriminatory, and a litle sad, they have every legal right to refuse service to a potential customer, just as much as YOU have every right to spend your money elsewhere.

    In my experience though, gay boys love their yards, and love to spend money on them. Bad business decision.

  58. slomike says:

    I think the gardeners have a right to refuse work from anyone they please but I don’t know how they chose. I suspect they have worked for, and gratefully received fees from, adulterers, liars, thieves, and politicians, sinners who had real choices about their sins.

  59. Boltonism says:

    I am gay, and have lived in Houston most of my life.

    As much as I disagree with their policy, finding it bigoted, discriminatory, homophobic, and a little sad, they have every right to refuse service to any customer, just as YOU have every right to refuse to spend your money with them.

    In my experience, gay boys love their yards, though, and often have the disposable income to spend on them. Bad business decision.

  60. lakevubud says:

    Would the Garden Guy & his hateful wife refuse to be treated by a Gay ER Dr in a medical emergency or refuse to have a home fire put out by a gay fireman?

  61. BubbaGump says:

    The homosexual lawncare agenda is powerful in this nation. After years of watching homosexuals transform their image in society, from the leather G-string with spikes wearing shaven butt homo; to the sophisticted, well groomed, fit, and if I may say so myself, quite snappily dressed, member of society, it seems that a line in the lawn must be drawn.
    Homosexuals are supassing the rest of us in style and class! This must be stopped! How can the Garden(variety) Guy just stand back and watch this progress go unimpeded. You may have great looks, great clothes, a clean home, and class…but you will never have landscaping!

    “thus says the Lord, ‘your poinsetta’s shall wither, your shrubs shall be shorn, your weeping willows shall weep no more'” –

  62. castboy says:

    I wonder what would happen if Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter walked in to Garden Guy to get her shrub shorn. Would they turn away the VP’s spawn?

    Would they snub Pastor Ted Haggard? Or Mark Foley? Or Ken Mehlman?

    Hypocrisy abounds with this so-called Christian crowd.

    What would Jesus mow?

  63. Keenervillecandle says:

    It’s their business, if they don’t want to do business with someone they don’t have to, it’s that simple. All they did was lose out on making some money, but they’ll get other customers and lose other customers because of this, but it remains their choice.

  64. brownei says:

    After I read the article, I realized you could place the word “blacks” in place of homosexuals. I remember the humiliation of being discriminated against because I was the wrong color. If there is a maker of all things, I don’t think it cares who you love.

  65. Harley says:

    Oh how I wish I had a business established in the Houston area now. I am a Lawn/Landscape business owner and operator in the North Dallas area and I am GAY and I know that I am not the only one in this area.