Two days ago a local restaurant, the Bistro at the Bijou, manager Martha Boggs denied service to Stacey Campfield, Knox County’s representative to the state senate. Boggs was disgusted over Campfield’s homophobic behavior.
What kind of behavior? He’s trying to pass “Don’t Say Gay legislation” that would prevent schools from discussing homosexuality in the classroom. He’s also vocal in the media advocating the discredited theory that AIDS started when a gay man had sex with a monkey in Africa. He also tries to makes light of bullying of gay children in schools. This a few weeks after a gay kid who was bullied committed suicide in Campfield’s home state of Tennessee.
Some local bloggers that I’m often in agreement with – Linoge and Rich Hailey – have a difference of opinion with Boggs. Basically, they feel that intolerance is intolerance and Boggs is no better than Campfield. I disagree.
Campfield’s intolerance is towards an entire group of people – homosexuals. There’s a word for that kind of intolerance. It’s called prejudice or bigotry.
Boggs wasn’t intolerant of Campfield because he just happened to belong to a group she was bigoted against. She was intolerant of the individual behavior of state legislator Stacey Campfield himself because of his bigoted, intolerant, ignorant behavior.
Since there seems to be some confusion, here’s how it breaks down:
- It would have been wrong (and illegal) for the Bistro to put up a sign that said “No Blacks Allowed.”
- If Campfield had been black it would have been wrong (and illegal) for Boggs to throw him out for having black skin.
- If Campfield had been black it would still have been A-OK for Boggs to throw him out for being a bigoted idiot. She’s free to refuse service to anyone. She just can’t do it on the basis of race, religion, or nationality. Thankfully, bigoted morons aren’t a protected class.
Campfield is a bigot and a national embarrassment to the people of Knox County. Boggs stood up to a bigot. Good for her. Bigots should be shunned. I liked her restaurant on Facebook. I plan on eating there the next time I’m downtown.
Others of course may feel otherwise and choose not to eat there. (In which case, they’re discriminating against the restaurant. See what I did there? Discriminating is not the nuclear bomb dirty word Rich and Linoge make it out to be. What matters is the reason for the discrimination.)
So far people seem to be supporting Boggs and the Bistro. Their Facebook likes have jumped from 600 to over 8000 in just two days.