QUENTINSBURGH– This week, the Freedemian National Court is expected to hear a strange case- one centered around the “Turtlefruit DOES GO on Pizacyros” movement. No, the case will not decide whether turtlefruit goes on pizacyros or not (though that would end a lot of the debate). The case of Leo Jono vs Brian Feldman centers largely on denial of services for beliefs other than religious or cultural ones, such as food preference.
Leo Jono’s Authentic Pizacyro’s is located in the Vera Point neighborhood in Quentinsburgh. Last July, long time customer Brian Feldman asked Leo Jono if he could get turtlefruit on his Pizacyro, which turned into an argument, with owner Leo Jono insisting “no self respecting chef would ever defile a pizacyro in such a way” and that he owned an “honorable establishment that would never create such trash”. Leo Jono’s being one of the most popular non-chain pizacyro restaurants in Quentinsburgh, the incident angered a lot of turtlefruit-lovers, and Feldman rallied about 15,000 people to sign a petition for Leo Jono’s to offer turtlefruit as a topping for his pizacyros. When Feldman came in, ordered a normal pizacyro and presented the petition to Leo Jono, Jono told Feldman he had been blacklisted and was no longer allowed as a customer at Leo Jono’s. This spurred quite a few protests and a large boycott of the business.
The case focuses on whether or not Leo Jono was allowed to blacklist Feldman for presenting the petition in favor of turtlefruit pizacyros. Freedemia has religious/belief protections, so theoretically Leo Jono was fully allowed to deny the service of creating a turtlefruit pizacyro because it went against his beliefs and his customer policy. However, the question becomes whether Leo Jono was allowed to blacklist Feldman over his belief that “turtlefruits do go on pizacyros”, which could be considered discriminating against Feldman due to what he believes in. Some also question if food preference can be considered a belief protected under the original law that would warrant denial of service, as it seems very trivial in comparison to religion, cultural beliefs, etc.
Lawyers for Leo Jono argue that the denial was not over Feldman’s belief that pizacyros and turtlefruit go together, but over “harrassment of the company”. Feldman’s lawyers rebut, saying that after the initial confrontation Feldman had not done anything threatening or harrassing, as he had peacefully presented the petition to Leo Jono and even ordered a turtlefruit-free pizacyro.
Some argue the case is frivolous and should be thrown out. Others believe the case is frivolous, but that they should follow the standard set by Heinz Doofenschmidt v United Freedemian Union and rule before labeling the case frivolous.
The case is expected to divide the court, but it is currently unclear how many will want to rule which way.