An employee at an Ohio pizzeria has reportedly been fired after threatening a gay couple who had been affectionate before entering the restaurant.
Bobby Slavens told local NBC affiliate WLWT that he and fiancé, Luke Munz, were visiting Goodfellas Pizzeria in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood with two friends at the time of the March 11 incident. A frequent Goodfellas customer, Slavens said he and Munz were stopped by an unnamed bouncer as they entered the eatery.
“We were just holding hands. We didn’t think anything about it, then we gave a little kiss on the lips, a discreet peck,” he said. “As we did so, the bouncer came to us and said, ‘Hey, you guys need to stop that or you are going to get kicked out.’ We were dumbfounded.”
After entering the restaurant, Slavens said he and Munz felt uncomfortable, and opted against ordering food. The confrontation with the bouncer, however, quickly worsened, as the men prepared to leave. “You better get used to this, this is Trump’s America,” Slavens said the employee told him and Munz.
“I was very upset and kind of just in disbelief,” he said.
Goodfellas’s manager, Mike McLaren, told the news station that the incident was “unacceptable,” adding, “We treat people here as family, everyone that comes here as family and all of our customers as family.” In a Monday Facebook post, a restaurant staff member wrote that the employee who had made the homophobic remarks to Slavens and Munz had been fired.
“The actions displayed by this now former employee are in no way a representation of how the Goodfellas team feels towards the LGBTQ citizenry,” the restaurant’s staff wrote. “We sincerely hope that you will allow us the opportunity to show you that Goodfellas Pizzeria is a safe harbor for all walks of life.”
Slavens elaborated further on the incident in a lengthy Facebook post of his own on Monday, thanking friends and family members for their support. “While the situation was deeply uncomfortable and unacceptable, we do not believe the company should be boycotted or harmed simply due to one employee’s actions since the company took adequate measures to resolve the situation,” he wrote. “Luke and I greatly appreciate the company’s zero-tolerance towards hateful behavior and discrimination, and their desire to promote a welcoming atmosphere for all guests.”
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