A Mexican restaurant in Texas has issued an apology to a gay couple that reported being insulted with a homophobic slur on Thursday.
The incident was first reported by one of the men’s mother Sandra Clement, who wrote a post on Facebook—which has been deleted following the apology—denouncing the treatment her son Miguel and his boyfriend received at one of the Agave Jalisco Restaurants in Corpus Christi, Texas.
According to Clement, her son and his boyfriend hugged as they entered the restaurant. “A male employee pointed at them while talking to some female employees seated at a table and screamed ‘jotos,'” Clement wrote, quoted in the local publication Caller Times.
The Spanish term “jotos” is used in a derogatory way to describe gay people, and, according to Clement, the restaurant employee repeated the words several times to mock the couple.
“The other employees in the kitchen, the female employees seated at a table, and the waiter were laughing and looking at my son and his boyfriend,” she added.
In a message posted on their Facebook page on Friday, the restaurants owners and managers apologised to the couple and said the employee in question would be fired. They also ordered the rest of the staff to undergo sensitivity training.
“We do not condone or accept this type of homophobic behaviour from any single person whom is a part of the team of Agave Jalisco,” the statement read.
The owners explained they did not act more swiftly about the incident because the wrong branch of the restaurant was contacted about it. They said they carried out an internal investigation into what happened.
“Unfortunately we can not control the actions of our employees 100% of the time and sometimes we have issues come up. However in our findings we found that the employee who allegedly said these derogatory, homophobic statements, was no longer fit to give any type of customer service with Agave Jalisco and its team,” the post read, adding that the owners and managers reached out to the Clement family for a private apology, but that they also wanted to write a public one.
“We here at Agave Jalisco are truly sorry for what happened that day, and will strive to always make Agave Jalisco a loving, accepting business, free of judgement. We will make sure this never happens again.” the statement concluded.
The Clement family accepted the apology. “Our son, his boyfriend, and our family applaud Agave Jalisco for taking swift action in addressing the unfortunate incident. Although they cannot control every employee, they have stepped up to ensure they are held accountable. Much appreciated!” Sandra Clement wrote on Facebook.
“We encourage all community members to join us in supporting Agave Jalisco as they have shown true character and compassion. I will delete all social media posts I made on the incident so we can move forward as a community,” she added. “I can’t put into words how thankful we are for all the love and support our son and his boyfriend have received. Above all else, let’s be kind. Please share.”