An open letter to the owner of The Stingray Cafe

Mr. Ed McGovern
The Stingray Café
520 S. Front Street
New Bern, NC

Dear Mr. McGovern,

I’m writing in regards to your letter written to patrons of your restaurant: Ariel and Shawnee McPhail. In your letter you asked them to look at their life and see how it hurts everyone around them, and to let the Lord open their eyes before it is too late.

I would only ask that you do the same.


You’re asking them to let a Lord that you worship who is obviously homophobic to open their eyes. You’re asking them to look at their life – when what I see is the life of a man who has little tolerance for what you perceive as immoral behavior. They sat in your restaurant, they ate their meals, and they paid their bill. It was only after they had paid their bill that you decided you had the right to judge them.

Seems to me there money would have been tainted or evil or, at best – ungodly.

What is it about your spirituality, your religion, that you feel you have the absolute right to judge another human being? It certainly can’t be from the teachings of the Jesus I know who simply said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

I see nothing there of judging or intolerance – only the commandment to love one another. Period.

I’m wondering also if your daughter “destroyed her life” and the life of her son, or if maybe your judgment of her may have entered into the situation. I can’t speak for your daughter – but if the way you treated these two women is any indication of the way you treated your daughter, I can only imagine the pain and the hurt you have placed on her and her son.

You see, Mr. McGovern, I am a lesbian women, and I have many wonderful “Christian” friends who do not judge, and won’t tolerate anyone else judging me simply for who I am. In their eyes, I’m their friend, and I’m as worthy of love and acceptance and tolerance as is every one of God’s children.

Finally – when you offer “The Love of Christ” to someone – you offer them peace and love and forgiveness. You offer them tolerance and understanding, and a love that comes from a place of acceptance. You most certainly don’t offer them intolerance and bigotry and homophobia.

I would hope that you also write your letters to those patrons you know are lying, cheating, stealing, fornicating and all of the other sins of which the Bible teaches. One wouldn’t want to think that you were simply homophobic.

Barbara Weicksel

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