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Couple claims Texas BBQ restaurant barred them for being gay

Couple told not to come back to Big Earl's restaurant in Pittburg, Texas because they are gay
Couple told not to come back to Big Earl's restaurant in Pittburg, Texas because they are gay
Photo courtesy of KLTV (used with permission)

Good service apparently goes out the window at a restaurant in Pittsburg, Texas if you are gay. According to a report by local CBS affiliate KRLD on Thursday, a couple claims they were told not to come back to Big Earl's restaurant because they’re gay because they supposedly violated the restaurant's policy.

Collin Dewberry and his partner Kelley Williams, who decided to have breakfast at the restaurant, made the claim stating that everything was fine until they paid their check and was approached by their waitress on the way out. The explanation they were given for her change in mood towards them was surprising. She said they don’t serve a certain type of person at the restaurant using a derogatory term describing homosexuals.

The waitress, who is the daughter of the restaurant’s owner, Earl Cheney, then went on to recite the motto followed by the restaurant. She said, “Here at Big Earl’s we like for men to act like men and for ladies to act like ladies, so we want you to never return.”

It was a type of discrimination the couple has never experienced before as they had no idea what they did wrong until it was pointed out by the owner that the phrase recited by the waitress was on a sign that had been there since the restaurant opened three years ago. Cheney, the owner, also said they had the right to refuse service to the couple in the future because they didn’t follow the policy.

Cheney was referring to the couple’s behavior, which he claims was due to their public display of affection and not because of the couple’s sexual orientation. He said, “I didn’t go over there to inspect to see what he was rubbing. That’s just not appropriate in a family restaurant that has a sign on the front door that we just don’t do that here.”

As far as his daughter’s use of an anti-gay slur, Cheney claims she was just shocked and didn’t know what else to say. He also claimed that many gay couples have eaten at his restaurant and has not encountered the same problem because they followed the policy. Cheney stuck strong to his policy saying, “You’re welcome to come and eat, but a man act like a man and a woman act like a woman. Dress appropriately and act appropriately when you’re in a public place.”

If Dewberry and Williams had been a heterosexual couple, would they have been accused of violating the restaurant’s policy? Cheney’s claim would suggest so, except for his emphasis on a “man acting like a man” and the fact that his daughter made it clear as to what type of people weren’t welcomed at their restaurant. The incident has caused much reaction concerning the restaurant online. Dewberry said the support they have received has turned a shocking experience into one that has been rewarding.

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