Collin Dewberry and Kelley Williams are a gay couple who were expecting to have a normal breakfast at a North Texas restaurant on Tuesday, but instead, they allegedly encountered hatred from the waitstaff.
The gay couple visited Big Earl’s Bait House and Galley Café in Pittsburgh, Texas, and nothing seemed to be amiss until it was time for the patrons to pay the bill. The waitress, who was also the owner’s daughter said, “Here at Big Earl’s, we like for men to act like men and ladies to act like ladies, so we want you never to return.”
According to local CBS affiliate KRLD, that part of the waitresses’ speech to the gay couple is outlined in a sign on the door that also outlaws saggy pants and reminds customers that the restaurant has the right to refuse service to anyone at its discretion. Dewberry said he laughed in response and asked the waitress to clarify what she meant.
The response to the gay man was “…to put it plainly, we don’t serve f*gs here.”
Earl Cheney, the restaurant’s owner, maintains that his daughter chose her own words. He also asserted, “I don’t think it’s my place to discipline her.”
Actually, he believes its the parents of the gay couple that need to do the disciplining, so that the individuals will know “how to act in public.”
Cheney alleges, “What I saw was one of them halfway under the table with his legs stretched out into the other guy’s lap.”
However, Dewberry maintains that he and his partner were not doing anything that would be considered inappropriate.
He explained, “…We were just sitting around waiting for our breakfast.”
The restaurant owner stands firm behind his daughter’s decision not to allow the gay couple to return. Even though Dewberry believes he and his partner were subjected to discrimination, there are unfortunately not many protections in place for gay and lesbian individuals throughout most of Texas.
Attorney John Nechman was quoted in the KRLD piece as saying there isn’t much that can be done if a gay couple is subjected to a slur. However, there would be legal action available to take if the restaurant had made a libelous or slanderous statement against the gay individuals.
In the town where it’s located, Big Earl’s is reportedly an “institution.” However, since this incident about the gay couple has come to light, the restaurant may have to engage in some damage control. As reported in a Huffington Post article, the establishment has been hit with negative online feedback from people who are in support of the gay couple.
[Image Credit: Big Earl’s Facebook page]