Marjorie Chrisoffersen, the manager of eatery El Coyote in Los Angeles, is a Mormon who donated to “Yes on 8.” With a large gay clientele, the owner should not have been surprised when they decided to boycott the establishment. In an attempt to explain her position she held a lunch to “personally speak” with her regulars. Well, it didn’t go so hot for Margie. Timothy Kincaid of Box Turtle Bulletin was there and he had this to say about it:
Although Margie is usually a spry woman, today she was breathless, and distraught and appeared fragile, not an easy task for a woman of her height. She stood supported between her daughters and read a prepared speech – most of which had already been released.
She praised the restaurant as a beacon of diversity, people from all places and where everyone doesn’t have to agree, where they can get along even with differing views. She credited her aunt for being sympathetic to the plight of the “gay individual” before there was support and how the restaurant became a safe haven for “that community”. She told of visiting sick people and providing “a healing place”.
She explained that she had been a member of the Mormon Church all her life and that she had responded to their request with a personal donation. She shared that El Coyote had contributed to many gay interests and charities.
Margie told of the 89 employees whose families relied on their job. She expressed how customers were part of the Coyote family. She lamented that this situation could harm a place with such diversity and harmony and joy and mutual respect and diversity of viewpoints.
“It saddens me that my faith will keep some from coming to the Coyote. But I cannot change a lifetime of faith in what I believe deeply. And I cannot and will not change my love and respect for your views”.
She did not apologize or express remorse.
There was quite a reaction. Below the fold. The restaurant’s position via the floor manager, not Mrs. Chrisoffersen’s, was that it would contribute around $5,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Community Center and to Lambda Legal in support of equality and said it disagreed with Prop 8. However, the eruption occurred when Chrisoffersen herself was asked by one of the patrons whether she would do so as well. The account by Defamer of the reaction is not surprising.
A gentleman by the same of Sam, who said he was an ex-member of the Mormon Church, asked if she was willing to donate to NO on 8.
She started crying.
A representative of the restaurant stepped in and stated that El Coyote was going to donate to Lambda Legal and the Gay and Lesbian Center and Sam said, I asked HER what SHE was going to do.
Marjorie said: “I will not.”
At which point the place went insane.
One of the (daughters?) started yelling at everyone telling them (and I quote) “The church just tells you when to donate, it doesn’t tell you how to vote. It very, very rarely tells you how to vote.” (SHUT UP! I KNOW! X2) “Marjorie is your friend-” at which point someone prominently yelled: “SHE IS NOT MY FRIEND. FRIENDS DON’T HELP TAKE THE RIGHTS AWAY OF OTHER FRIENDS AND THEN BLAME IT ON THEIR CHURCH!”
Once the room calmed down, Marjorie was asked again if SHE would do anything to counteract what she had done and she said: “No.” at which point someone yelled “This is bullshit” and another yelled “BOYCOTT EL COYOTE” and Marjorie was swiftly escorted out the back entrance as people dispersed saying “She just made this even worse” and a man started walking through the restaurant telling customers that “MARJORIE VOTED YES ON PROP 8 AND YOUR MONEY IS DOING THE SAME THING BY HER GIVING HER EARNINGS TO THE MORMON CHURCH!”
Are any other pro-Prop 8 business owners ready to step up and face the consequences of voting and donating according to their principles?