Alvarado cafe owner likely will have to pay $5K for implying customer was gay

The Texas Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of a cafe owner in Alvarado, a town south of Fort Worth, who was ordered to pay a customer $5,000 for making comments that implied he was gay.

The attorney for the customer said the case was about his client being humiliated repeatedly and not a gay issue. However, the comment from the cafe owner implied he was gay, and he could only have been humiliated if being gay were something to be ashamed of.

A state district judge and appeals court both ruled in the customer’s favor. By refusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court allows the lower court’s ruling to stand. The cafe owner now must pay her customer $5,000.

So now can sue when people call us straight?

—  David Taffet

Alvarado restaurant owner appeals $5K fine for calling customer gay to state Supreme Court

Frank's Place in Alvarado (via Google Maps)

A restaurant owner in Alvarado questioned the sexual orientation of one of her longtime customers. The customer sued, charging that the restaurant owner’s accusation that he was gay was defamatory and caused mental anguish.

Alvarado is south of Fort Worth along I-35W at U.S. 67 in Johnson County.

Phong Van Meter, the owner of the restaurant Frank’s Place, was fined $5,000 for publicly humiliating a loyal customer and ordered to stop “making or publishing defamatory, libelous and slanderous” comments. The ruling was upheld by the Court of Appeals, and Van Meter has now appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, according to Courthouse News.

Bennie Dale Morris, who has eaten at Van Meter’s restaurant for 20 years, “build[s] driveways and spread[s] sand for fixing yards around houses.” He said he had a drop in business as a result of Van Meter’s accusation.

So the lower courts ruled that being called gay is an insult? Or is it only an insult is you’re not gay? And if you are gay, can you sue for someone calling you straight? I hate when that happens.

—  David Taffet

Big D Rodeo 2010 in Alvarado

Photos by Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice (Marcelo Media)

—  John Wright

TGRA kicking off state meeting weekend with FW show

2008_tgra_05

The Texas Gay Rodeo Association is holding its first quarter state meeting this weekend — meeting on Saturday at Celebration Community Church in Fort Worth and on Sunday at Diamond W Ranch in Alvarado.

Those meetings aren’t open to the public, but the big show Thursday night, Jan. 21, at Best Friends in Fort Worth,  certainly is, and Melody Diva Lane, one of the candidates for Miss TGRA 2011, wants to make sure everyone knows they are welcome to attend.

The e-mail I got said line-up is at 8:30 p.m. and the show will start on time. But it didn’t say what time the show starts. Still, if you are there by 8:30, you’ll have plenty of time to grab the refreshing beverage of your choice and find a seat with a good view.

All proceeds benefit TGRA.

Oh, and by the way, go ahead and mark your calendars now for Sept. 10-12 when The Big D Rodeo will be held at Diamond W Arena in Alvarado.

—  admin