In response, one Matthew Hurtt wrote: So, discriminating against someone because you don't agree with their political beliefs is perfectly fine. Two wrongs do, in fact, make a right, Fantastic logic!
That's a fine example of false equivalency. Stacey Campfield, who I've met, talked to, and actually kind of like as a human being, is a person of power in this state who has used said power to promote discrimination, misinformation, and outright hatred towards his constituents and other Tennesseans. Knoxvillains who wish to eat out have a whole host of different options from which to choose from. But Tennesseans who want equal representation and rights have only one legislature to look to. While there are many representatives, theirs, Stacey Campfield has made it a mission in his life to make life harder for those who don't fit his own personal view of 'normal'.
There is nothing inconsistent or incoherent about discriminating against those with power who actively discriminate against those without power. There is no difference between refusing to serve David Duke than there is Stacey Campfield. While Campfield's views may currently have more resonance among the American populace, it doesn't change the fact that he wishes discrimination against people based on who they are.
I hope Campfield was refused service for his advocacy of abhorrent beliefs, and I would hope that Nashville establishments would do the same to Stacey and the many other advocates of discrimination within the legislature. As long as the enemies of tolerance and compassion are given aid and comfort by the society at large, they will continue their evil deeds.
I look forward to soon patronizing The Bistro at the Bijou, and I hope you would do the same.
The Metro Pulse in Knoxville got a quote from bistro owner Martha Boggs:
"I didn't want his hate in my restaurant," Boggs said in a interview this morning. "I told him he wasn't welcome here. ... I feel like he's gone from being stupid to being dangerous, and I wanted to stand up to him."See Also: Michael Silence has a good rundown of reactions.
Stacey Campfield has blogged about his experience and says that he left the restaurant because "she started to yell and call me names again so I figured it was better to just leave." He also adds this nugget:
Some people have told me my civil rights were violated under the 1964 civil rights act in that a person can not be denied service based on their religious beliefs. (I am catholic and the catholic church does not support the act of homosexuality)Ummm...no. According to the EEOC, "Social, political, or economic philosophies, as well as mere personal preferences, are not “religious” beliefs protected by Title VII." While Title II covers restaurants, its safe to say that the same definition of "religion" would apply there as well. Arguably the belief that "homosexuality is a sin" is a religious belief, but saying that AIDS resulted from people having sex with monkeys, or passing laws that prohibit the discussion of the concept of same-sex relationships, does not fall under that classification.
Update III: Martha Boggs responds on camera to the incident on Sunday, saying she thinks Campfield is a "bully" and that "he needed to be stood up to".