Texas Restaurant Apologizes, Fires Employee Who Taunted Customers with Homophobic Slur

Agave Jalisco / Facebook

Agave Jalisco, a Mexican restaurant in Corpus Christi, Texas, fired an employee after a customer’s report of a homophobic incident went viral on Facebook.

Sandra Clement, a local high school principal, wrote in a Facebook post (since deleted) that she was at the restaurant with her gay son and his boyfriend when an employee began taunting them.

The Caller Times reported on Clement’s post: “(Clement’s son and his boyfriend) exchanged a hug as they entered the restaurant and a male employee pointed at them while talking to some female employees seated at a table and screamed ‘jotos.’ (The employee) proceeded to walk to the kitchen tossing his towel in the air loudly singing ‘jotos’ over and over again. “The other employees in the kitchen, the female employees seated at a table, and the waiter were laughing and looking at my son and his boyfriend.”

The restaurant fired the employee, releasing a statement:

On behalf of Agave Jalisco Restaurant on Ayers, the owners, and it’s employees, we want to make the following statement:

Agave Jalisco Restaurant wants to offer our most sincere apology. We want to make a statement regarding the event that happened on August 30, 2018. Where a young man and his boyfriend were allegedly called a derogatory slur in Spanish and taunted. Agave Jalisco is an independently, family owned, business. We the owner’s and management know the seriousness of this issue, and want to state that we do not condone or accept this type of homophobic behavior from any single person whom is a part of the team of Agave Jalisco.

In the incident, it is stated that the management was contacted and did nothing to fix the problem or apologize. This is true, but the wrong Agave Jalisco was contacted on accident. Again, we are independently owned and the Agave Jalisco contacted the day of, was the one located at 5922 S Staples St, not our restaurant located at 2001 Ayers St. If we would have known about this issue sooner we would have addressed it swiftly and aggressively.

Agave Jalisco restaurant is a full service Mexican restaurant that aims to please customers with good food, great service, and most importantly an atmosphere where you can enjoy your meal in peace, free of judgement. We are family owned, we have taught our family and children to go out into the world, and treat everyone, the same way that they would want to be treated. This matter was looked into for several hours, in order to find out how and why this happened.

Unfortunately we can not control the actions of our employees 100% of the time and sometimes we have issues come up. However in our findings we found that the employee who allegedly said these derogatory, homophobic statements, was no longer fit to give any type of customer service with Agave Jalisco and it’s team. This employee will be terminated. In order to ensure that this never happens again, we will also be making the entire Agave Jalisco team take a sensitivity class as soon as possible.

We want to reiterate that the actions of this employee in no way reflect Agave Jalisco Restaurant and it’s values or beliefs. The Clement family has been reached out too, in order to offer a personal apology. We are writing this statement now as a public apology the Clement family, Miguel Clement, and his boyfriend. We here at Agave Jalisco are truly sorry for what happened that day, and will strive to always make Agave Jalisco a loving, accepting business, free of judgement. We will make sure this never happens again.

Clement was pleased with the response, writing on Facebook: “Our son, his boyfriend, and our family applaud Agave Jalisco for taking swift action in addressing the unfortunate incident. Although they cannot control every employee, they have stepped up to ensure they are held accountable. Much appreciated! We encourage all community members to join us in supporting Agave Jalisco as they have shown true character and compassion. I will delete all social media posts I made on the incident so we can move forward as a community. I can’t put into words how thankful we are for all the love and support our son and his boyfriend have received. Above all else, let’s be kind.”

The post Texas Restaurant Apologizes, Fires Employee Who Taunted Customers with Homophobic Slur appeared first on Towleroad Gay News.

States are asking the US Supreme Court to restrict protections for LGBTI workers

US Supreme Court

A considerable number of states in the United States are appealing to the Supreme Court to restrict protections for LGBTI workers.

16 states, including 13 attorneys general and three Republican governors, filed an amicus brief on Thursday (23 August) with the highest court in the nation.

Their argument focuses on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII does not allow discrimination by employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

This amicus brief argues Title VII’s protections do not extend to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Recently, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that transgender people are protected from workplace discrimination and harassment.

‘The Sixth Circuit’s opinion … erases all common, ordinary understandings of the term “sex” in Title VII and expands it to include “gender identity’”and “transgender” status,’ the brief reads.

‘In doing so, the lower court rewrites Title VII in a way never intended or implemented by Congress in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.’

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson is leading this action.

A long back-and-forth

Democrats and Republicans have argued about the Civil Rights Act, and how far it extends, for years.

In 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder under President Obama issued a memorandum. In it, he aligned with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). They both determined Title VII does, in fact, ban discrimination based on these identities.

This all changed when Jeff Sessions assumed the role of Attorney General under Trump.

On two different occasions, Sessions, as leader of the Justice Department, ruled the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not extend to gay people or protect trans people at work.

Another figure signing on the amicus brief is Maine Governor Paul LePage. The state’s Democrats condemned his participation.

‘After refusing to protect LGBTQ youth in Maine from conversion therapy, Governor LePage has turned his efforts toward making sure businesses can fire workers based on their sexual orientation and gender identity,’ they said.

‘By working to exclude LGBTQ Mainers from these protections, Governor LePage has once again shown that he does not stand with Mainers who are overwhelmingly in favor of upholding these basic standards of decency.’

The Supreme Court will decide in the coming months if they will take on this case during their next session.

H/t: Politico

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Philippine lawmaker seeks probe after bar discriminates LGBTI comedian

Philippine LGBTI comedian Jervi Li, more popularly known as Kaladkaren Davila, was denied entry to a bar last week.

The Philippines’ first transgender lawmaker on Tuesday requested a congressional inquiry into the discrimination of a poplar LGBTI comedian.

Last week, Jervi Li, more popularly known as Kaladkaren Davila, uploaded a video of a bouncer at H&J Sports Bar in Poblacion, Makati denying her entry.

‘I just filed a resolution directing the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality to conduct an inquiry into the possible discriminatory acts perpetrated by a Makati bar against Kaladkaren Davila and her friends,’ wrote lawmaker Geraldine Roman on her Facebook page.

Li’s video showed the bouncer answering ‘bakla’ when asked who could not enter. ‘Bakla’  is Philippine slang for homosexual or transgender.

‘This is one of the many reasons why we need protection,’ Li wrote in her post.

Li rose to fame for her impersonation of veteran Philippine broadcaster Karen Davila in September last year.

According to a photo on her Facebook, Roman’s resolution argued: ‘The malicious refusal of the establishment for Jervi Li and company to enter the premises on the ground of being ‘bakla’ is an affront to all the members of the LGBT community who are already suffering from discrimination by society.’

‘There is no place for hate, inequality and discrimination in a just and civil Philippine society,’ she wrote.

Roman became the first transgender politician to be elected in the predominantly-Catholic country in May 2016.

‘Unfortunate Mistake’

H&J on Tuesday said treatment of Li was ‘an unfortunate mistake,’ according to local media.

‘That was a misunderstanding actually,’ manager Henry Strzalkowski told Rappler.

‘That was just one night. Otherwise, we are an LGBT-friendly bar completely,’ he said.

Philippines awaiting much-delayed anti-discrimination bill

Meanwhile, activists have been pushing for a much-delayed LGBTI rights bill to become law.

The SOGIE (sexual orientation and gender identity expression) Equality Bill would make it illegal to deny access to public services, hire or dismiss, impede access to education, or harass a person based on SOGIE.

Because of Li’s experience, campaign group Yes to Equality on Tuesday urged LGBTI and allies to demand that the Senate pass the Bill.

‘The SOGIE Equality Bill, delayed in the period of Senate Debates for 621 days, is now the longest-running interpellation in Senate history. Each delay keeps LGBTQIA+ Filipinos vulnerable to discrimination,’ it said Tuesday.