WATCH: Keller teen petitions City Council to outlaw anti-gay discrimination in restaurants

Isaiah Smith, left, collecting signatures in Keller. (From KDAF Channel 33)

After seeing an episode of the ABC reality show What Would You Do that was filmed at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch last year, gay 16-year-old Isaiah Smith is trying to change a law in his own hometown, Keller.

In the ABC show, actors posed as a lesbian couple with children. The waitress acted shocked and said the children would be better off with a father. The point was to get a negative reaction from other customers.

According to a report by Dawn Tongish on KDAF last week, Smith has collected more than 400 signatures to encourage the Keller City Council to outlaw discrimination in restaurants in that city.

Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth are the only cities in Texas that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations.

In the report, Smith points out that gays and lesbians have no protection in Texas and, without a local ordinance, could be thrown out of a restaurant simply because of who they are.

—  David Taffet

WATCH: ABC’s ‘What Would You Do?’ on gay parenting at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch

Last week we told you about Friday night’s episode of What Would You Do? filmed in part at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch. The third segment of the ethical-dilemma, hidden-camera show focused on gay parenting and involved a waitress — an actress — saying hateful things to two same-sex couples, also actors and actresses, who are dining with their kids at Norma’s.

“You’re gay and you have kids?” the waitress says to the first couple, two women. “It’s bad enough that you’re lesbians, but that they don’t have a father, I think that’s kind of bad. … I mean isn’t it bad for the kids?”

Remarkably, or perhaps not, two male customers who overhear the waitress’ statements take bold stands against her.

“You are by far the worst waitress I’ve ever seen in this restaurant,” the first man says. “You’re a horrible person and a horrible waitress. You need to leave. You need to physically leave this restaurant right now.”

—  John Wright

ABC’s ‘What Would You Do?’ to air gay parenting episode shot at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch


Looks like you may want to tune in to ABC’s What Would You Do? on Friday night.

That’s when the hidden-camera, ethical-dilemma series airs an episode about gay parenting shot at Norma’s Cafe in Farmers Branch:

An actress hired by What Would You Do? is waiting tables at a local family style diner, Norma’s Café in Farmers Branch, Texas. It’s a typical busy morning for her until our actors portraying the role of a gay couple — first females, then males — dining with their children are seated in her section. As she begins to express her discomfort and probe their parenting skills, other diners begin to take notice. Will these patrons take the side of our waitress or will they defend the unconventional family?

According to ABC, the actress playing the waitress tells the gay parents, “I mean it’s bad enough you’re lesbians but you’re also parents and they don’t have a father. I think that’s kind of bad. I think this is terrible. I think they need a Dad!”

ABC hasn’t posted any footage from the episode but does provide us with a sneak preview of bystanders’ responses to the waitress, which are surprisingly supportive of the gay parents for a city led by Timothy O’Hare:

“I’ve never felt so uncomfortable and so beside myself with anger. You are a horrible person and a horrible waitress, and you need to leave.”

“You’re the hate monster.”

“This is not the place for a political debate. This is a place for you to do your job.”

“You are not king. You are not God. You have no choice. You have no place to put anybody in their place.”

“It’s about the quality of the parents and the love that there is in the home more than it’s having a mom and a dad.”

What Would You Do? airs at 8 p.m. Central on Friday.

—  John Wright

What’s Brewing: House to spend $500K or more on DOMA defense; majority back gay marriage

Timothy O’Hare

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. The Dallas Morning News (paid subscription required) has an extensive recap in today’s edition of the controversy over a Gay Straight Alliance at R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton. As we’ve reported, bigoted Farmers Branch Mayor Timothy O’Hare railed against the GSA on Twitter, but O’Hare has since removed those posts from his account and didn’t respond to The DMN’s request for comment. O’Hare wasn’t the only one who spoke out against the GSA, though: school board candidate Randy Schackmann reportedly issued a statement calling the GSA an “agenda-driven, politically motivated, lifestyle-focused” group and said its presence amounts to “an assault by school leadership” on residents. As we’ve noted, the GSA was allowed to form and has been meeting, but The DMN story does shed some light on the difficulties faced by students wanting to start GSAs in North Texas. It also ends with a priceless quote from the R.L. Turner GSA’s 18-year-old president, Arafel Bruce, who was asked by the newspaper whether the GSA has an agenda to promote homosexuality: “I’m sorry. I’m trying not to laugh,” she said.

2. Five hundred and twenty dollars per hour, and up to $500,000 total, unless the cap is raised by written agreement. That’s how much Speaker John Boehner and the House GOP will pay attorney Paul Clement and his firm, King & Spalding, to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign is continuing its assault against King & Spalding — which, by the way, has an office in Houston but not Dallas — for taking the case.

3. Yet another poll has shown that a majority of Americans support marriage equality. A CNN poll released Tuesday found that 51 percent believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry. However, the poll found that seven of 10 Republicans are opposed to same-sex marriage.

 

—  John Wright

WATCH: Oral Roberts’ gay grandson Randy Potts records ‘It Gets Better’ video message

Randy Potts recording his “It Gets Better” video.

Earlier this year we profiled North Texas’ Randy Potts, whose grandfather was anti-gay evangelist Oral Roberts.

Randy Potts is gay, and so was his uncle, Ronnie, who committed suicide in 1982. Now, using a letter to his deceased uncle as a backdrop, Randy has recorded an “It Gets Better” video message to LGBT youth.

Potts lives in Farmers Branch. He moved to the area to be near his three children. He has little contact with the Roberts family although last year he did attend his grandfather’s funeral. In the video, he describes how, in front of 4,000 mourners, his mother told him he’d be going to hell.

NPR’s “The Story” interviewed him for an upcoming episode. He expects it to run later this year on the anniversary of his grandfather’s death.

—  David Taffet