Couple Claims They Were Asked Not to Return to East Texas Restaurant Because They’re Gay
Collin Dewberry and Kelly Williams said they were having a normal breakfast Tuesday morning at Big Earl’s Restaurant in Pittsburg, about an hour north of Tyler.
They ate, they paid and said they enjoyed their meal. But what was said to them as they were walking out the door completely changed their experience.
“We don’t serve fags here.”
The couple said that’s what their waitress, the restaurant owner’s daughter, told them as they were leaving.
“We’ve never had that kind of hate displayed to us before,” Dewberry told KLTV 7 in Tyler. He said the couple have lived in East Texas their entire lives.
The waitress also recited a phrase that is posted on a sign on the door of the restaurant: “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.”
Owner Earl Cheney told KLTV he put the sign up when the restaurant opened three years ago. He said it wasn’t because of the men’s sexual orientation that they were asked to leave, but their behavior — specifically touching each other’s legs.
“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,” Cheney told the TV station. “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.”
Cheney also told KLTV the couple were badgering his daughter and claimed it was all on surveillance video, though he did not release the video to the TV station.
Dewberry said the two were shocked at the notion and didn’t know how to react.