Love of country means different things to different people, but telling an ex-Marine and his boyfriend on 9/11 that same-sex affection is frowned upon at your “patriotic” establishment is pretty awful. News 6 in Orlando reports that James Lacey and his partner were with a group of friends at the Original First Turn, a steakhouse and biker hangout along the Florida coast, when a manager told him the physical contact the two were having had “offended” other patrons:
“We were just having a good time,” he said.
Lacey said a group of men, including his boyfriend, were having drinks when a manager pulled Lacey to the side.
“She said some of the customers were complaining about our PDA and were offended. The manager told us that it’s not welcomed here,” he said. … “I’m pretty sure if you saw a man and woman giving kiss on the cheek or a kiss on lips, they’re not going to say that’s not tolerated here, that’s not welcomed. That’s ridiculous. I truly feel it’s because we’re a gay couple.”
After the exchange, Lacey says their whole group decided to just get up and leave. It doesn’t look like the restaurant plans on apologizing, but the manager did release a brief statement clarifying a few points: First, it’s “a patriotic and family restaurant of more than 30 years,” and second, technically, nobody ever told the couple they were unwelcome. That was apparently more of an insinuation, since her statement ends with this pretty blatant dog whistle: “Safety and comfort for all our customers is top priority.”