A North Carolina bar owner is defending her decision to ask a gay couple to leave after they kissed while watching a band perform.
Dustin Baker and Andrew Deras said the owner of Louie’s Sports Pub confronted them last week and said their public display of affection made other patrons feel uncomfortable, reported WRAL-TV.
Deras, who was visiting Fayetteville from Los Angeles, said he and Baker were aware they were in a bar that was popular with bikers and had an older clientele, and he said the kiss was a quick one.
“He gave me a kiss, it was very minor, it was just a peck,” Deras said. “It was two seconds.”
But Pam Griffin, who owns the bar, said she received eight or nine complaints and approached the couple with a security guard.
“(Other customers) came to me and said, ‘Pam, you got a problem out here and it’s going to get ugly,'” she said.
The couple claims Griffin was rude and threatened them, but the bar insists she was calm — and she claims the men flipped her off and French-kissed in front of her.
“I walked up to them calmly, I asked them guys, you know, can you kind of just separate, kind of move apart?” Griffin said. “I don’t care if you stay and drink, (but) we don’t need to be doing that, and just calm down because you’re making people feel uncomfortable.”
Deras admits they kissed again after the bar owner confronted him and Baker, but he said that was also just a quick peck.
“I just gave Andrew a kiss, and that’s when she started getting really crazy,” said Baker, a hair stylist. “She’s saying, ‘This is enough, this is enough,’ like basically telling us to get out.”
The couple paid their bill and left, but Griffin insists she did not ask them to leave because they are gay and claims she asked a straight couple to leave about two weeks ago for a similar display of affection.
“I tried to be as nice as I could,” Griffin said. “This is a straight bar. I don’t mind who comes in — white, black, mixed, Chinese — everybody’s welcome, but you have to respect the kind of place you’re in.”
Baker posted an account of the incident on Facebook, and it was widely shared on social media.
Griffin said the resulting outcry had forced her to take down her bar’s Facebook page, and she said she’s received threats against her and her establishment.
However, a local attorney with no connection to the case said Griffin was within her rights to ask Deras and Baker to leave.
“By the accounts that I heard is that, if then the response is to take it up a notch, then I think it was wholly appropriate to quell it,” said attorney Mike Boose.
Watch video, courtesy of WTVD, below: