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A New York City gay couple has said they were harassed and asked to vacate the premises of a restaurant last month. According to an NBC report released on Jan. 25, 2021, the couple claims they were discriminated against due to their sexuality.
The New York couple — Jamel Brown Jr. and Nelson Ayala — live in the Bronx, New York. They have stated the incident happened at the La Isla Cuchifrito — a local Puerto Rican restaurant. According to the couple, the woman cashier made homophobic remarks after they had ordered.
Ayala recorded the incident in a video and shared that documentation with NBC News. In the video, the woman can be heard saying “hombre, Mujer” repeatedly. “Hombre, Mujer” translates to “man, woman” in English.
The woman continued with her berating speaking in both Spanish and English.
Everything correct my family: hombre, mujer, nino y nina
Ayala recorded a separate video capturing the woman’s repeated apology. That employee has since been fired. Boyd Cole, a relative of the owner, stated, “In no way do they condone the comments made by their former employee.”
According to Ayala, the New York couple refused to accept the woman’s apology. He further stated:
They apologized, and they offered us a meal, but this is not something that should just go away.
Due to the fact, the incident happened in New York, the couple can take legal recourse on this matter.
Richard Saenz — an attorney at the LBGTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal — stated, “New York state law and New York City law prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in public accommodations such as restaurants.”
He further stated that those in New York who “experience discrimination, you have a right to file a complaint with the NYC Commission on Human Rights.”
Brown and Ayala have stated that they fully plan on filing such a complaint.
If this incident had happened anywhere other than New York, the couple may not have been able to take such recourse. There are currently 21 states in the United State that explicitly prohibit discrimination against gender identity and sexual orientation.
Written by Sheena Robertson
NBC News: Gay couple says NYC restaurant kicked them out because of their sexuality; by Cynthia Silva
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