North Carolina Bar Owner Throws Out Gay Couple For Kissing, "Causing a Disturbance"

In Depth

A North Carolina bar owner who threw out a pair of gay customers is feeling extremely whiny and aggrieved over the fact that she’s being taken to task for it. Of course she is.

Via WRAL, Dustin Baker and Andrew Deras went to Louie’s Sports Bar in Fayetteville to see a band. They were excited to see each other, since Deras lives in California. Understandably, Baker put his arm around Deras and gave him a quick peck on the cheek—just like a straight couple would do with almost certainly no one batting an eye. Since they’re not a straight couple, though, eyes were batted. Eyes were batted indeed.

Louie’s owner Pam Griffin apparently received “eight or nine” complaints, and angry homophobes are apparently a clientele base she’d really like to cultivate. That’s when she went up to Baker and Deras with a security guard:

“I walked up to them calmly. I asked them guys, you know, can you kind of just separate, kind of move apart?” Griffin said. “I don’t care if you stay and drink. We don’t need to be doing that, and just calm down because you’re making people feel uncomfortable.”

In other words, “can you do a thing I’d never in a million years ask a straight couple to do?” Deras and Baker then responded in a wholly appropriate way: they kissed again, because fuck you. Griffin insists that one of them gave her the finger and swore at her, although the couple vehemently deny this took place.

That’s when Griffin kicked them out, repeatedly telling them “this is enough,” so the couple paid their bill and left. Griffin claims it was because they were “causing a disturbance” and that she threw a heterosexual couple out of the bar a couple of weeks ago. I absolutely believe that, and I am also the Queen of France. The real telling point here is a quote from her actual defense:

“I tried to be as nice as I could,” she says. “This is a straight bar. I don’t mind who comes in — white, black, mixed, Chinese. Everybody’s welcome. But you have to respect the kind of place you’re in.”

Emphasis mine. In other words, “you will be tolerated if you sit quietly and don’t make yourself in any way obtrusive. You will not be afforded the same leeway as straight patrons.” Imagine the reaction she’d get if that line was “This is a white bar,” and you can see the issue.

Griffin hasn’t been ready for the backlash, which I assume means she’s not a frequent visitor to the internet. The restaurant’s Facebook page has been taken down, and the Yelp page is being inundated in a similar manner to Big Earl’s over a year ago (note that this is probably the only thing Yelp is actually good for). Griffin was apparently unaware that this is what happens when you do things like this now.

You know who else I feel sorry for with this story? The parts of North Carolina that are actually pretty cool. Imagine living somewhere like the Piedmont Triad or Asheville or Wilmington and having to read a story like this. And granted, Fayetteville is far from the worst place in North Carolina (oh man, there are SO many worse places than Fayetteville in North Carolina), but still. To be fair, this principle applies to most states, so at least they’re in good company.

Image via WRAL.

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