A gay couple has been told by staff to stop kissing or they would get thrown out of a restaurant.
The engaged couple left, but as they were walking away they heard the same employee, a bouncer on the door, say: “You better get used to this, this is Trump’s America.”
Bobby Slavens and Luke Munz were at Goodfellas pizzeria in Cincinnati, Ohio, a regular eating place for the pair. Slavens wrote on his Facebook page that it was “one of our favourite spots”.
“We were just holding hands. We didn’t think anything about it, then we gave a little kiss on the lips, a discreet peck,” Slavens told local TV channel WLWT5.
“As we did so, the bouncer came to us and said, ‘Hey, you guys need to stop that or you are going to get kicked out.’ We were dumbfounded,” Slavens said.
The couple immediately stopped holding hands, but as they progressed down the line, they decided they shouldn’t stand for the abuse.
Slavens said when they reached the front of the queue, they were asked if they wanted pizza, and he told the employee: “No, we don’t. We were just told that we cannot hold hands or kiss.
“We have seen people in Goodfellas or any other establishment, great couples that were holding hands or kissing, and nothing was said to them. So we left.
“As I turned around, I heard, ‘You better get used to this, this is Trump’s America.”
Slavens said he was “very upset and kind of just in disbelief” that such a homophobic incident had happened to him and Luke.
“You hear all of these stories on the internet from people, especially in our community, that people are not happy. They express their anger towards our community, but it has never happened to me.”
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Mike McLaren, the manager of Goodfellas, said the encounter was “unacceptable,” adding: “We do not tolerate that kind of action or speech,” before pleading with the couple to return to the restaurant.
“Please come back. You are more than welcome here, everyone is welcome here. Everyone is family. Please come back (to) Goodfellas Pizzeria. Please be a part of our family.”
Initially, Slavens told WLWT5 that he would not be returning to the restaurant, saying: “I accept their apology, but I will take my business elsewhere.”
However, in a subsequent post on Facebook, he confirmed that following the restaurant’s sacking of the abusive employee, he and Luke would return to Goodfella’s.
“While the situation was deeply uncomfortable and unacceptable, we do not believe the company should be boycotted or harmed simply due to one employee’s actions since the company took adequate measures to resolve the situation,” he wrote.
“Luke and I greatly appreciate the company’s zero-tolerance towards hateful behaviour and discrimination, and their desire to promote a welcoming atmosphere for all guests.”