A gay couple says that a bouncer at a pizza place in Cincinnati threatened to throw them out for kissing and holding hands.
Bobby Slavens and his fiancé, who is not identified in press coverage, said they were waiting in line at a Goodfellas late on Saturday night.
“We go all the time,” Slavens said. “We love Goodfellas. We’ve never had an issue there before.”
When they got to the bouncer to show ID to enter the restaurant, they were told to stop showing affection in public.
“We were just holding hands. [We] didn’t think anything about it, then we gave a little kiss on the lips, a discreet peck. As we did so, the bouncer came to us and said, ‘Hey, you guys need to stop that or you are going to get kicked out.’ We were dumbfounded,” Slavens said.
He said they felt embarrassed and immediately stopped holding hands.
“We have seen people in Goodfellas or any other establishment, great couples that were holding hands or kissing, and nothing was said to them. So we left,” Slavens said. The couple did not order any pizza.
In a Facebook post, Slavens said someone tried to make the incident political. “As I turned around, I heard, ‘You better get used to this, this is Trump’s America.’ After that, I was like, ‘Wow.’ I just walked away. I was very upset and kind of just in disbelief.”
Goodfellas manager Mike McLaren issued an apology and said someone has already been fired over the incident. “Once we have all of the information together, individuals like that do not work for this company. We do not tolerate that kind of action or speech. We are gathering information, talking to people, trying to make sure that we know exactly what went down. We are pulling everything together to make sure we have all the information together to figure out who, what, where, when and make sure we handle it the best way possible.”
Slavens said that he accepts the apology, but he has no plans to go back to Goodfellas. McLaren said “Please come back. You are more than welcome here, everyone is welcome here. Everyone is family. Please come back [to] Goodfellas Pizzeria. Please be a part of our family.”
“It is an unacceptable situation. We treat people here as family, everyone that comes here as family and all of our customers as family,” McLaren said.