Restaurant Owner Writes Offensive Letter to Lesbian Patrons

by Jennifer Welsing

If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all. Or in this case, keep your pencils down. In New Bern, North Carolina, when exiting a restaurant, a lesbian couple was handed a letter by the restaurant owner condemning homosexuality.

After finishing and paying for their meal, Ariel and Shawnee McPhail were handed a letter from The Stingray Cafe’s owner, Ed McGovern. In the letter McGovern pretty much states that homosexuality is against God’s will and that they should “take a look at their life. See how it hurt[s] everyone around you.” He also goes on to say that his own daughter was gay and it ruined her and her son’s life. When asked if he wrote the letter, McGovern said he did, and has written similar screeds before. It seems that McGovern saw the McPhails kissing outside his restaurant, and didn’t appreciate that. 

The couple said they were not kissing, just holding hands. But does that really matter? Shawnee McPhail believes if she and her partner were a straight couple, they wouldn’t receive this kind of treatment, and we strongly suspect that she’s correct. The McPhails also stated that they believe that everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs, but that in this case, McGovern went too far. Hopefully the next time McGovern decides to write a letter, it’ll be one of apology.

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