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(Wisconsin Gazette)   Restaurant owner faces $5,000 judgment for starting gay rumor about customer   (wisconsingazette.com) divider line
    More: Silly, Texas Supreme Court, Johnson County, morris, central nervous systems, trial court, own  
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9931 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Feb 2012 at 12:54 PM (8 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2012-02-06 5:27:41 PM  

StanTheMan: Sexual behavior does not equal race.


Funny how people like you fixate on the sex part and not the biggest, most important part which is the love. Your partners must be blessed.

Hell, you could have sex with a monkey, Stan. But could you fall in intimate love with one?

Well, you might be the wrong person to ask that of.
 
2012-02-06 5:28:55 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: Kraut10: I'm still confused as to why it took 20 years for this guy to get tired of this woman's shiat. Was the food there really THAT good? I would have walked out without finishing my meal the first time a resturant owner or employee made me feel like that. Don't care what they were emplying. Just one more example of what is wrong with american buisness today, once apon a time "the customer was always right" and most places were gratefull for your buisness and hard earned cash. Now they could care less if you are right and feel YOU should feel privilaged that they even let you through the door!

I wonder why...

Degrading intestinal tracts for over 25 years.


I feel so much better now, thanks!
 
2012-02-06 5:33:13 PM  

Attila the Bun: Seriously though, if there's nothing wrong with being gay, how can being called gay be defamatory / slanderous?


mikaloyd: It's bad to be gay? Or just bad to be called gay?


Things are different in Texas. It would be great if they really could secede. It would be better if they'd farking grow up already.

cefm: Oddly enough, as the stigma associated with being openly gay disappears, so will the justification for this lawsuit.


The justification, as I understand it, is intentional harm. It's less relevant how it was done. Also as I understand it, including from people living there, and having visited myself, much of Texas (probably most of it) is a place where such rumours really are damaging. This is, after all, the state whose anti-sodomy law finally brought down the wrath of the U.S. Supreme Court against busybody prudes nationwide. IANAL, but my grasp if this is that the judgment is justified by what some court has agreed is apparently good evidence that these rumours did cause actual harm, and that they were intended to do so, though probably primarily intended to 'defame' the petitioner. So it's a combination of intent and result following intent that creates the actionable harm. And yes, if Texas ever grows up, such cases won't happen, because real harm won't result.

Diogenes: Attila the Bun: Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Seriously though, if there's nothing wrong with being gay, how can being called gay be defamatory / slanderous?

/IANAL
/DNRTFA

#1 - whether you want to be out or not is the individual's choice
#2 - when a ton of people do think it's bad, there can be negative consequences even if you personally don't find anything bad about being gay

It's defamatory, regardless of the particular accusation.

But like I said earlier, he's going to have a rough time proving a causal connection to his failed business.


litespeed74: Should be interesting how he "proves" it.


It sounds like he already did. I would think it unlikely, too, but TFA appears (unless I've misread it) to refer to a case that's already been decided.

chookbillion: I think perhaps the article writer made a mistake when he or she wrote 2 or 3 times a day, and instead meant 2 or 3 times a week.


That's my guess, too. Still, a regular customer. When I ran restaurants, regulars were gold, unless they regularly caused us some kind of trouble, which most people didn't. (I don't really like most people, but honestly, if you give them a chance, most of them are pretty decent, if not especially likable.)

Kraut10: I'm still confused as to why it took 20 years for this guy to get tired of this woman's shiat.


My guess is that he didn't think it mattered, until he started to see his business slide. This might also be a Texas thing, in that going away would be giving in or something. It's possible that everyone involved could use a dopeslap.

No_Good_Name: What sort of business does she do? Why would you want to get rid of such a good repeat customer?


Max Awesome: Why would you do this to a regular customer? What a moronic way to run a business.


I agree, but a surprising number of small business owners are like that. They have this concept of who 'should' be customers and who 'should not,' and that's more important to some of them than getting the money. It makes no sense to me, either, but it's common enough.

Kevin72: It's impossible to tell from the story if Phong Van Meter the Rumourmonger is male or female. NTTIAWWT.


Except for the repeated use of 'she' throughout.

reillan: Everyone assumes I'm gay, because I'm handsome, smart, nice, and well-dressed. And because I talk with a very slight lisp. And have the voice of an angel.

When can I sue?


When and if you can demonstrate real intentional harm. Good luck.

SquiggelyGrounders: Having spent my college and pre-college years working in retail and at restaurants I can say the customers often deserve it.


Having run restaurants, I can say that you were the kind of punk-ass college-age jerk that needed to be fired a lot more often. If you worked for me, you would have been. If you weren't, then you worked for owners like the one in TFA. Often known as "former owners".
 
2012-02-06 5:35:39 PM  

Teen Wolf Blitzer: If you're gay, there's nothing wrong with being called gay.


Unless you're closeted because you live in a particularly bigoted place, and someone calling you that leads to some kind of demonstrable harm that you can attribute to the slander. That's what this case was about. Not name-calling, but actionable defamation and demonstrable harm.
 
2012-02-06 5:36:33 PM  

Cythraul: We should totally start a rumor about the restaurant owner.


I heard Phong Van Meter raped and murdered a young girl in 1990.
 
2012-02-06 5:54:34 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Attila the Bun: Seriously though, if there's nothing wrong with being gay, how can being called gay be defamatory / slanderous?

mikaloyd: It's bad to be gay? Or just bad to be called gay?

Things are different in Texas. It would be great if they really could secede. It would be better if they'd farking grow up already.

cefm: Oddly enough, as the stigma associated with being openly gay disappears, so will the justification for this lawsuit.

The justification, as I understand it, is intentional harm. It's less relevant how it was done. Also as I understand it, including from people living there, and having visited myself, much of Texas (probably most of it) is a place where such rumours really are damaging. This is, after all, the state whose anti-sodomy law finally brought down the wrath of the U.S. Supreme Court against busybody prudes nationwide. IANAL, but my grasp if this is that the judgment is justified by what some court has agreed is apparently good evidence that these rumours did cause actual harm, and that they were intended to do so, though probably primarily intended to 'defame' the petitioner. So it's a combination of intent and result following intent that creates the actionable harm. And yes, if Texas ever grows up, such cases won't happen, because real harm won't result.

Diogenes: Attila the Bun: Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Seriously though, if there's nothing wrong with being gay, how can being called gay be defamatory / slanderous?

/IANAL
/DNRTFA

#1 - whether you want to be out or not is the individual's choice
#2 - when a ton of people do think it's bad, there can be negative consequences even if you personally don't find anything bad about being gay

It's defamatory, regardless of the particular accusation.

But like I said earlier, he's going to have a rough time proving a causal connection to his failed business.

litespeed74: Should be interesting how he "proves" it.

It sounds like he already did. I would think it unlik ...


Oh...that was the case! penis vs vagina....
 
2012-02-06 6:05:51 PM  

litespeed74: Oh...that was the case! penis vs vagina....


I remember that one! It was all over the Internet while it was going on. The defense took a real pounding.
 
2012-02-06 6:17:05 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: SquiggelyGrounders: Having spent my college and pre-college years working in retail and at restaurants I can say the customers often deserve it.

Having run restaurants, I can say that you were the kind of punk-ass college-age jerk that needed to be fired a lot more often. If you worked for me, you would have been. If you weren't, then you worked for owners like the one in TFA. Often known as "former owners".



Right. Cause you can tell everything about a person and their past employers just from a single post on Fark. You sound like your an asshole employer from the south or some corporate bottom-liner that regularly screws over employees because "fark em, I can get unskilled workers anywhere." See, I can make jack ass statements just like you. Now we are both internet tough guys; isnt this fun.

I'm glad that I worked for employers that didnt tolerate abusive customers. The kind of employers/managers that would back you and take the abuse rather than letting the lowest paid employees get shiat on by random self-important assholes off the street.
 
2012-02-06 6:30:45 PM  
So when he comes out of the closet he will have to pay the 5 grand back?
 
2012-02-06 6:49:04 PM  

Diogenes: Attila the Bun: Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Seriously though, if there's nothing wrong with being gay, how can being called gay be defamatory / slanderous?

/IANAL
/DNRTFA

#1 - whether you want to be out or not is the individual's choice
#2 - when a ton of people do think it's bad, there can be negative consequences even if you personally don't find anything bad about being gay

It's defamatory, regardless of the particular accusation.

But like I said earlier, he's going to have a rough time proving a causal connection to his failed business.


I think it's partly that someone was deliberately being annoying to another person and this was just the best category for a 'make this biatch shut the fark up' lawsuit.
 
2012-02-06 7:28:00 PM  

SquiggelyGrounders: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: SquiggelyGrounders: Having spent my college and pre-college years working in retail and at restaurants I can say the customers often deserve it.

Having run restaurants, I can say that you were the kind of punk-ass college-age jerk that needed to be fired a lot more often. If you worked for me, you would have been. If you weren't, then you worked for owners like the one in TFA. Often known as "former owners".


Right. Cause you can tell everything about a person and their past employers just from a single post on Fark. You sound like your an asshole employer from the south or some corporate bottom-liner that regularly screws over employees because "fark em, I can get unskilled workers anywhere." See, I can make jack ass statements just like you. Now we are both internet tough guys; isnt this fun.

I'm glad that I worked for employers that didnt tolerate abusive customers. The kind of employers/managers that would back you and take the abuse rather than letting the lowest paid employees get shiat on by random self-important assholes off the street.


Never mind that I'm almost the exact opposite of what you're accusing me of. Your own choice of words, and the attitude they reveal, go a long way towards validating my first and second impressions of you. Attitudes like yours ruin businesses. That's all there is to it. The rest is just shiat you say to your buddies over beers, and not relevant.
 
2012-02-06 7:33:10 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: SquiggelyGrounders: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: SquiggelyGrounders: Having spent my college and pre-college years working in retail and at restaurants I can say the customers often deserve it.

Having run restaurants, I can say that you were the kind of punk-ass college-age jerk that needed to be fired a lot more often. If you worked for me, you would have been. If you weren't, then you worked for owners like the one in TFA. Often known as "former owners".


Right. Cause you can tell everything about a person and their past employers just from a single post on Fark. You sound like your an asshole employer from the south or some corporate bottom-liner that regularly screws over employees because "fark em, I can get unskilled workers anywhere." See, I can make jack ass statements just like you. Now we are both internet tough guys; isnt this fun.

I'm glad that I worked for employers that didnt tolerate abusive customers. The kind of employers/managers that would back you and take the abuse rather than letting the lowest paid employees get shiat on by random self-important assholes off the street.

Never mind that I'm almost the exact opposite of what you're accusing me of. Your own choice of words, and the attitude they reveal, go a long way towards validating my first and second impressions of you. Attitudes like yours ruin businesses. That's all there is to it. The rest is just shiat you say to your buddies over beers, and not relevant.


I'm sorry you must have quoted the wrong post, because you are not addressing anything I wrote. Or else you do not know how to read or are delusional.
 
2012-02-06 8:11:49 PM  

cgraves67: If a member of the waitstaff were to harrass me in any way, such as this, I would demonstrate my displeasure by taking my business elsewhere and letting the business owner know that they are losing my custom. I cannot fathom why this person returned to the restaurant every day for 20 years with this going on.

"The food is so good, I endured their homophobic remarks for twenty years to the detriment of my health"


I'm going to bet that the restaurant was bought up by new owner/operators in about 2006 or so. Alvarado, TX has a population of under 5,000, eight churches and is the Johnson County seat. In short, it's a small town that's about an hour south of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This is one of those places that is small enough for nearly everyone to have a passing acquaintance and it's likely the plaintiff is an unwed, older male who ate daily at the town's only full service restaurant because he either does not have the time, the knowledge or the inclination to cook his own meals. He may have even been joined at the restaurant on multiple occasions by a friend.

In a situation like that, a smart ass business owner thinking she's being funny by insinuating the customer is gay, knowing damn well he likely doesn't have many dining options beyond her establishment can go elsewhere. In turn, this caused the customer to lose business when folks needed appliances repaired, opted to go with another firm out of town rather than give their hard earned, God blessed money to some gay guy. They know he's gay because the woman that runs the restaurant keeps asking him about his husband.

As stupid as it sounds, the guy had a case and likely tried it in small claims court. This is one of those decisions Farkers should cheer - in the case of the restaurant owner, stupidity is being financially painful.
 
2012-02-06 8:34:27 PM  

SquiggelyGrounders: you are not addressing anything I wrote.


I considered it. I decided you're not worth it.
 
2012-02-06 8:38:19 PM  

ThrobblefootSpectre: So when he comes out of the closet he will have to pay the 5 grand back?


He's going to redo the closet with some of that money and blow the rest on shoes.
 
2012-02-06 9:11:09 PM  

treesloth: Nope, it'll still be there. Regardless of stigma, it's an accusation of misrepresentation. He has represented himself as a straight man; she has attempted to call that representation into question without just cause. If I represent myself as having a bachelor's in math and you claim to the public that, in fact, I have a degree in, say, communications, then you implicitly assert that I have lied and misrepresented myself.


The important thing you're missing is what your degree is in. If you represent that you have a degree in math, but actually have one in communications, and that is what she states, it's not defamation, especially if your lie being outed serves the public benefit.

Teen Wolf Blitzer: If you're gay, there's nothing wrong with being called gay. Just like if you have anal warts, there's nothing wrong with being called wart-ass. But if you don't have anal warts, being called wart-ass is a huge insult. Make sense?


False equivalence. 1. Pretty much everyone would agree that having anal warts is bad. 2. Being called wart-ass is an insult whether or not you have anal warts.
 
2012-02-06 9:53:01 PM  

mjbok: treesloth: Nope, it'll still be there. Regardless of stigma, it's an accusation of misrepresentation. He has represented himself as a straight man; she has attempted to call that representation into question without just cause. If I represent myself as having a bachelor's in math and you claim to the public that, in fact, I have a degree in, say, communications, then you implicitly assert that I have lied and misrepresented myself.

The important thing you're missing is what your degree is in. If you represent that you have a degree in math, but actually have one in communications, and that is what she states, it's not defamation, especially if your lie being outed serves the public benefit.

Teen Wolf Blitzer: If you're gay, there's nothing wrong with being called gay. Just like if you have anal warts, there's nothing wrong with being called wart-ass. But if you don't have anal warts, being called wart-ass is a huge insult. Make sense?

False equivalence. 1. Pretty much everyone would agree that having anal warts is bad. 2. Being called wart-ass is an insult whether or not you have anal warts.


You said anal warts twice.
 
2012-02-07 12:01:22 AM  

mikaloyd: It's bad to be gay? Or just bad to be called gay?


Both.
 
2012-02-07 12:32:10 AM  

SuwonROKs: mikaloyd: It's bad to be gay? Or just bad to be called gay?

Both.


Or is it gay to be called gay?

NTTAWWTQ.
 
2012-02-07 7:41:35 AM  

umad: Imagine somebody spreading rumors that you are a Republican then.


Lol- used to be. Was "cured".
 
2012-02-07 10:26:11 AM  
pray the GOP away

the pink elephant in the room, by God
 
2012-02-07 11:16:12 AM  

Lone Stranger: He's not gay. It's just all the guys giving him BJs that are gay.


Bruce Heffernan moved to Texas?
 
2012-02-08 8:24:48 PM  

mjbok: The important thing you're missing is what your degree is in. If you represent that you have a degree in math, but actually have one in communications, and that is what she states, it's not defamation, especially if your lie being outed serves the public benefit.


In fact, that's not necessarily the case, but that's where the analogy is no longer applicable. In the original story, the orientation of the person would either be (1) irrelevant to the case or (2) the accuser's burden of proof. She accuses him publicly of misrepresenting himself; it's her accusation to prove to be true and relevant.
 
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