Nelson Alaya and his husband Jamel Brown filmed a restaurant worker shouting ‘man and women’ at them. She was later fired, with the restaurant also issuing an apology (Pictures: News12)
A restaurant worker was fired for shouting ‘man and woman’ at a gay couple who came in to get some food. Nelson Ayala and his husband Jamel Brown recorded the unnamed woman saying ‘man, woman,’ in Spanish after they came into the Puerto Rican La Isla Cuchifrito restaurant in the Bronx where she was working.
The couple say the server began taunting them after she spotted them holding hands. She was also filmed saying ‘Everything correct in my family,’ before adding the Spanish words for boy and girl. The couple say the woman ordered them out of the restaurant, although none of her colleagues forced them to leave.
They left shortly afterwards and called the cops. A second video, shot by Ayala after he confronted the woman, showed her repeatedly apologizing. He told News12: ‘Who I love shouldn’t define where I shop or eat at. I came here to get service, not to get judged.’
The woman was fired as a result. Restaurant spokesman Boyd Cole issued an apology, adding: ‘In no way do (the restaurant’s owners) condone the comments made by their former employee.’ Ayala, who lives close to the restaurant, says he and his partner do not accept that apology.
He told NBC News: ‘They apologized, and they offered us a meal, but this is not something that should just go away.’
The couple plan to file a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights. New York is one of 21 states whose law bans businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
Ayala, Brown and their supporters have protested outside La Isla Cuchifrito, and say they hope the protests will encourage local businesses to take anti-discrimination laws seriously, and avoid a repeat of what happened to them.
Ayala added: ‘We will all come together as one, and will let people hear our voices.’
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