FacebookA gay-owned and operated business in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley has been flooded with messages of support after they were targeted in a homophobic social media post written by a competing business.

There was an immediate backlash against the Hattonvale Nursery after the business owner publicly lambasted the “poofs” at an aquarium store via Facebook last week, over their business “ethics” and going against God.

“To those two poofs up at [name withheld] aquarium, why don’t you stick to what you do best and sell fish and not plants and where are your ethics in business that [sic] right you poofs don’t have ethics Ps in the bible its Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve…”

By the next day, thousands of outraged Facebook users had shared a screen shot of the nursery’s message. Hundreds of comments from both Australian and international users also flooded in, condemning the anti-gay abuse and supporting the aquarium’s owners.

“For someone promoting a business on Facebook the language is disturbing: really doesn’t make you want to deal with people like that. I certainly won’t be back,” one user said.

“Can’t believe the ignorance and immaturity of some people. I certainly won’t be shopping at Hattonvale Nursery again.”

“They can sell what they want. Enjoy your loss of business; this is going to be spread all around.”

Before removing the nursery’s Facebook page the next day, the owner posted a comment defending his remarks.

“To all the people that has a problem with what was said on this page you all must have a very big problem because I didn’t say once I dislike gays or all the people with titles.”

A protest at Hattonvale Nursery was planned for last Sunday but organisers called it off due to the highly emotive reactions felt by some of the community. A peaceful show of support at the aquarium store was urged instead.

The owners at the centre of the social media storm did not want to be named, along with the title of their business, but they did thank the public for their support on Facebook.

“I [am] really feeling some love over the last couple of days. A massive thank you, you know who you all are,” one of the owners said.

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