Politicians’ aides threatened for being gay in North Carolina bar
Two men that work as aides to North Carolina legislators have reported that they were threatened in a bar because of their sexuality.
Jeff DeLuca, a legislative assistant to Senator Jay Chaudhuri and Michael Wilson, assistant to Representative Chaz Beasley, said that they were approached by a man in The Architect Bar and Social House on Friday evening.
The man reportedly asked DeLuca and Wilson if they were gay and “indicated that he wasn’t ok with that,” Luca has explained.
Both DeLuca and Wilson tried to walk away from the situation but the man became threatening when he “stepped toward me, pounded his fist into his hand and said ‘well, it’s about to be’.”
The pair told security who reportedly failed to act on resolving the situation because the man said he did not do anything, so they left immediately.
Afterwards, they both contacted the bar and the security team to make a complaint but were met with an unsavoury response from the head of security who told them to “save the drama for your mama”.
DeLuca took to Facebook to share the incident and the poor response from the bar and called on the owners to put a zero tolerance policy in place.
DeLuca wrote that he has “had connections to about as many homophobic incidents since November 2016 as I have in my entire 11 years being out. Toxic masculinity is everywhere.
“If you care about LGBTQ people, root it out wherever you see it,” he finished the post.
The owner, Jon Seelbinder, has since been in contact with DeLuca and Wilson and dismissed the security staff who responded to DeLuca inappropriately.
Seelbinder said that “all are welcome at The Architect and we intend to keep it that way.”
He explained that the “situation is 100 percent against our moral code and ethics”.
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“We can’t control other people but do our best to defuse situations. We by no means support or condone any sort of discrimination or harassment.
“Our job and main priority is to keep our guests safe and as happy as possible. We take these accusations very seriously,” Seelbinder added.
Despite the response, Seelbinder has said that the reputation of the bar is being damaged online by negative Yelp comments.
The comments have accused the bar of hiring homophobic people, an accusation which the owner has tried to dispel.
He said: “No one here has any issue with anything to do with that. We have gay weddings, gay employees. That’s not what we’re about.
“We’re accepting of everyone and we take everyone’s safety very seriously. This is our livelihood.”
Seelbinder added that he felt the bar was now being “bullied” and “it’s from some people who have never set foot in our business; that’s the frustrating part.”