news release. The Spirit Halloween manager in Charleston, Wv., called him a “faggot,” after which he chased Anderson out of the store and chased him through the parking lot threatening to fight him.In the suit, Anderson says he went to return a costume to the store.
When he got to the register, the manager, Thelmon Penn, took over for the cashier. When Anderson said he was returning the costume because it didn’t fit, Anderson says Penn told him, “Maybe you shouldn’t try to wear women’s clothes.” Anderson then told Penn he wanted his contact information. “I’ll give you my name, but I’m not giving my number to a [faggot],” Penn allegedly said, according to the suit. “Get out of my store,” he continued before threatening to “beat his a**” if Anderson returned.A copy of the complaint can be found here.In it, lawyers for Anderson allege that Spirit Halloween and its employee violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act and Charleston’s local fairness law — both of which protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation.The complaint also claims that the manager purposefully inflicted emotional distress on Anderson.A representative for Spirit of Halloween was not immediately available for comment.“Things have got to change,” Anderson said in the release. “Discrimination has got to stop.
I want my story to help make things better for everyone, but especially for the LGBTQ community. Everyone, no matter who they are or who they love, everyone should feel safe in the community that they live in.”Anderson added that he’s been concerned about going out in public.
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