Texas: Couple Ejected From Eatery for Touching Legs Under Table

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com May 29 2014 1:47 PM ET

Staffers at a restaurant in east Texas has told a gay couple they would no longer be welcome at the business, where a sign on the door demands that patrons act according to gender norms.

Collin Dewberry and his partner, Kelley Williams, ate recently at Big Earl's Bait House and Country Store in Pittsburg, Texas. After they paid their bill, the waitress pointed to the policy on the door and told them they would not be welcome back.

“She said to us … ‘To put it plainly, we don’t serve fags here,'” Dewberry told KLTV of Tyler, Texas.

A sign on the door of the restaurant reads, “We want our men to act like men, and women to act like ladies. No saggy pants. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

The sign has been on the door since the restaurant opened three years ago. Owner Earl Cheney said the couple did not follow the rules on the door (they were touching legs), and so they would be denied service in the future.

“It's just not appropriate at a family restaurant,” Cheney said. He added, “Homosexuality, blacks, Hispanics — they all come in here — everybody comes in here to eat. I’ve served my country for over 20 years. I know what my freedoms are.”

While Houston was the latest Texas city to enact an LGBT-inclusive antidiscrimination ordinance, most cities state, including Pittsburg, do not have such policies, and there is no statewide law banning antigay discrimination.