(Portions of this post were provided by the great Micah McCain)
There were over 60 folks in attendance today at El Coyote for the press conference/statement brunch that Marjorie, the owner, and El Coyote presented.
A manager stood in the middle of the back room and stated that “El Coyote does not share the same views as Marjorie.” He stated that 89 families were going to be affected by this boycott and one of the community members screamed out “18,000 families already HAVE been affected!”
While the floor manager continued talking, it became more apparent that what this community conference was about, was distancing Marjorie from El Coyote itself. Marjorie walked out with two younger ladies on her arm and spoke from a prepared statement.
She asked for forgiveness for being so emotional and said that “El Coyote is as diverse as it’s clientele. Customers are considered part of the family and I responded to the call of the Mormon Church to donate [towards the ban on same sex marriage].”
As she continued to speak it seemed even more clear that she was distancing herself from El Coyote. Marjorie began talking about how much her Aunt had done to support gays and the plight of the GLBT Community since opening the restaurant and asked that “[she] personally take responsibility for [the] blame and anger” because she said she was aware of the boycott and pending protest slated for Thursday (tomorrow 11/13) night outside the front restaurant.
She continued: “It saddens me that my faith keeps you away from The Coyote. I can not and will not change my lifelong commitment to the Mormon Church. I can not and will not change my commitment to you.”
She closed with how much she loved us all. At which point she opened the floor to questions.
A gentleman by the same of Sam Paige, who said he was an ex-member of the Mormon Church, asked if she was willing to donate to repeal prop 8. 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 a little nutty.
One of the daughters started telling everyone,“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.” “Marjorie is your friend-” at which point someone prominently yelled: “She is not my friend. Friends don’t take away the rights of others and then blame their church!”
People applauded in accordance while the mounting tension was palpable.
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“BOYCOTT EL COYOTE” and Marjorie was quickly escorted out the back entrance. A number of community members spoke, including myself, about the effects on the community. I reminded people of the effects on all of the LGBTQ youth that are calling the Trevor Helpline because they are contemplating suicide. Youth from all over the country that are kicked out due to their families religious beliefs. They are alone, scared, and will make bad choices. CA has said to them, you are not equal. What do those kids do now?
I urge us all to make decisions based on fact. Find out if you are supporting those that don’t support you. www.latimes.com/news/local/la-metro-prop-8,0,2463893.htmlstory.
You can click these links to see my reaction to the meeting on ABC News and to hear my reaction on NPR: