As Ariel and Shawnee McPhail, an openly lesbian couple, strolled out of North Carolina’s the Stingray Café, the restaurant’s owner rushed toward them and handed them a letter. Ed McGovern’s note, signed by "The Love of Christ," said that God opposed homosexuality and that the women’s "unnatural" affection hurt everyone around them. In the letter, McGovern also revealed that his own daughter’s lesbianism destroyed her life.
What set McGovern off is that he allegedly saw the McPhails kissing outside of his restaurant. According to the women, they were only holding hands. But it doesn’t matter how this couple was showing affection, or to what degree. McGovern overstepped by imposing his religious views on happy, paying customers. McGovern confirms that he’s pulled stunts like this before to condemn homosexuality, but from the backlash he’s receiving on his restaurant’s online "guestbook," this should hopefully be his last.
Many of the comments have since been deleted, but we caught a few statements that criticize McGovern and offer support for the McPhail women.
• "Do you happen to do this for adulterers, people who work on Sunday … Wait, do you serve SHRIMP? HELL TO YOU, I SAY!"
• "You’re entitled to your opinions on the matter of homosexuality, Mr. McGovern. Everyone I’m sure believes the same. But what you are NOT entitled to do is condemn and take advantage of paying customers and force your beliefs on them when all they wanted was to eat."
• "I will NEVER step foot in your cafe again."
• "You may have any belief you choose, but you are evil to spread your hatred, intolerance, intimidation, stupidity, and disgusting words to anyone."
• "The oyster sauce may be delicious, but the aftertaste is sour and homophobic."
Did nobody learn anything from Chick-fil-A? Personal beliefs, especially when they’re widely considered backwards, bigoted, and hurtful, should be kept out of business. McGovern says that he wrote the offensive letter "out of love." If any good can come of this, it’s that now the McPhails, who are urging locals to stop eating at Stingray, are propelling a movement and championing love and acceptance.
Lesbian couple: Restaurant owner hands them letter condemning homosexuality
[WCTI ABC NewsChannel 12]