clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Indiana Restaurateur Admits He's Always Discriminated Against LGBT Diners

"I can do whatever I want."


For one anonymous Indiana restaurateur, the state's recently passed Religion Freedom Restoration Act will not affect the way he does business, because he already discriminates. The controversial law gives businesses — including restaurants, bars, and coffee shops — the right to turn away LGBT customers. According to Think Progress, the owner of an unnamed restaurant — who only identifies himself as Ryan — admitted on local radio station RadioNOW 100.9 that he supports the controversial law because it validates what he has already been doing. He revealed that he's gone so far as to tell LGBT customers "that equipment was broken in his restaurant and he couldn't serve them even though it wasn't and other people were already eating at the table."

Ryan attempted to justify his actions to the surprised radio hosts: "I feel okay with it because it's my place of business, I pay the rent, I've built it with all my money and my doing. It's my place; I can do whatever I want with it." He adds that LGBT community members are free to "do their own thing," just in a place where "people want to be with them."

Thankfully, Ryan the discriminating restaurateur is in the minority. Many companies — including chains like Chipotle and review site Yelp — have come out against the act since it was signed into law by Governor Mike Pence last week. When asked for a comment, a spokesperson for Chipotle told Eater: "I suppose Indiana can do [what] it wants, but we will continue to welcome our customers -- all of them." Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman came out against the law noting on the company's blog that it "set[s] a terrible precedent."