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Man Thrown Out of New Bedford, MA Restaurant for Being Gay

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.

According to Jacob Froias he was preparing to dine with his mother on Sunday at Al’s Cafe on Belleville Avenue when he was approached by the owner and longtime family friend, Alsuino Cordeiro.

“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.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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2 thoughts on “Man Thrown Out of New Bedford, MA Restaurant for Being Gay”

  1. After reading this I am embarrassed to be from Massachusetts. It is one thing if they were camping it up in the business or causing a disturbance. But a hug outside of the business? Really? New Bedford is after all the shallow end of the gene pool in Massachusetts. I am hoping Jacob Froias has witnesses other than his mother and they come forward. Despite laws on the books to prevent these occurrences. Local government and enforcement traditionally in Massachusetts do not get involved unless a substantial case exists.

  2. This stands out for me: “… he was approached by the owner and longtime family friend, Alsuino Cordeiro.” What kind of family friend does this? It must be one of those families that takes aside its LGBT members when they become too obvious for comfort and admonishes them that so-and-so can’t handle them.

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