A man in New Bedford, Massachusetts is saying that he and his mother were told to leave a local restaurant for being gay while homophobic slurs were being hurled at him.
“He looked at me and said, ‘You guys can’t come here anymore,” recalled Froias. “He was like, ‘Oh, last time you were here, you and your little Filipino boyfriend were outside hugging and it made everyone uncomfortable. You embarrassed the establishment.”
As Froias and his mother were preparing to leave as not to cause trouble Cordeiro started making homophobic remarks.
“He was saying derogatory things towards me, like calling me a faggot.” Froias said.
Having been openly gay since he was a teenager, Froias says he has dealt with bigotry before, but not to the extent where he was refused service at a business.
“I’ve never really had to deal with this type of discrimination and the way I felt yesterday,” said Froias. “After the situation, I sat in the car and I looked at my mom and I started crying.”
Froias says he’s “playing it by ear” as to whether he’ll seek legal action against the owner of Al’s Cafe, saying he’s received advice from friends including filing complaints with the City of New Bedford Licensing Board, the Better Business Bureau, and the Attorney General’s office. Froias says, though, he’s not sure he wants to take matters that far.
“I’m not trying to effectively ruin someone’s business and, essentially, their life. But they need to know that what they did was wrong and it’s not acceptable in any way, shape, or form.”
In the state of Massachusetts it is illegal to refuse service to anyone because of race, sex, or sexual orientation.