Gay Couple Asked Not To Return To East Texas Restaurant

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A gay couple in the small Northeast Texas town of Pittsburg was asked not to return to Big Earle's restaurant because they “don't like fags.” A harsh reminder that comes amid Houston passing a landmark equal rights ordinance for the LGBTQ-munity that we still have a long way to go.

The couple who have resided in the town their entire lives apparently missed the sign posted on the entrance door that reads, “Welcome to BIG EARLE's where MEN act like MEN and WOMEN act like LADIES…NO SAGGY PANTS…We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

The couple had eaten, and paid for their meal before they were asked not to return on their way out of the door. From the looks of the subsequent Yelp reviews that they may not be the only one's not returning.

See some of the comments and the response from Equality Texas below…When the owner was pressed in an interview to expound on the gender roles he alluded too, he said, dress appropriately and act appropriately.” Curiously in the family photo on BIG EARLE's website all members are dressed the same wearing t-shirts and baseball caps.  

Big Earle continued his explanation with, “a man is supposed to stand up and be a leader. He is not supposed to be a woman, he is not supposed to come in here in a dress.” Neither man was wearing a dress, but Earle said that he saw them touching legs and, “didn't go over there and inspect and see what he was rubbing or anything else but it's just not appropriate in a family restaurant that has a sign — we just don't do that.”

After the incident made headlines BIG EARLE's took to their Facebook page to provide a little clarity:

My goodness, does anyone read or study? Big Earl has spent his life in the military to defend this country and will be happy to explain the constitution to you. Earl is well versed in the Bible and Christianity, has travelled the world and is well educated. It would have been nice for the full interview to have played in order to explain the background to what caused the incidence. The quote “we don't serve fags here” was never said, instead, after being badgered, the young lady said “We do not like fags”. The behavior portrayed by the young couple was simply inappropriate and would have been considered so no matter what sexual orientation.

In addition, we wish to add that the amount of support we have had has been greatly appreciated. The numerous phone calls received tonight from people that feel the same way we do has been outstanding. We have new customers due to the news story, and will continue to feel the same way.

One reason that mainstream brands have gotten behind this community's struggle is their economic impact, and another is being the speed at which tolerance and laws are changing in their favor.

“As of last night, 28% of Texans live in a place where it is illegal to discriminate in public accommodations because of sexual orientation or gender identity. This situation proves that 72% of us still live in places where it is not.  Most Texans know this is wrong – most Texans believe this should never happen – but, most Texans are not being heard by the Texas Legislature. Texas needs a public accommodations non-discrimination act.”

-Daniel Williams, Legislative Specialist, Equality Texas

It's true that most Texas support equality in the workplace and the type of ordinances being passed in our largest cities — Equality Texas' 2013 poll showed that support at 65%. However, there are still many who view stories like these as promoting the “gay agenda” and not equality. One such group is “Texas Values” which slammed Houston's equality ordinance as a “threat to Christians [and]the Private Sector.” While we see victories in our urban centers it is critical that we understand what is happening in small towns across Texas where many times right wing radio is the only news some ever get.

Just last week Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that Julian Castro had to leave San Antonio for the Obama Administration because he had no chance of winning reelection after passing a similar equality ordinance. His guest concurred and proceeded to say Castro's approval had dropped into the 20s, but gave no source to back that up.

The bottomline is if we want to see the government recognize all citizens equality them we must make sure we make our voices heard in the market place, but we also have to make sure we are equally heard at the polls in November.

Read all the Yelp reviews you can stand or make your own contribution here.

Read the original story

You can follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.


About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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