A New Yorker is filing a lawsuit alleging she was shoved to the ground and subjected to homophobic remarks by a Sizzler manager at one of the chain's restaurants in Forest Hills, Queens.
The manager accused Liza Friedlander of not pre-paying her buffet bill when she attended brunch with friends last September. The suit, filed on Friedlander's behalf by gay rights group Lambda Legal, claims that the manager shoved her in the chest, kicked her legs, and called her a "fucking dyke" and other epithets.
Other patrons joined in, calling her a "he-she freak" and demanded that she leave the restaurant. Another man threatened to take her outside and rape her, then started throwing objects at her. Eventually, police came, and Friedlander was taken to a nearby hospital.
"Just because I don't appear to be the Sizzler manager's idea of what a woman should look like doesn't mean that gives him permission to attack me and allow other customers to join in," Friedlander said in a statement. "My friends and I went in for Saturday brunch just like everyone else in the restaurant that morning, but it turned into a nightmare. No one should have to go through that."
According to Lambda Legal, this will be the first case to test a bias crime law passed in August 2010 that allows individuals to be sued in civil court for anti-LGBT violence and intimidation.