Phi Beta Cons

Middletown Homophobia Sit-In Turns to Extortion

Last week, I wrote about a “teach-in” held by the so-called “Queer Liberation Front,” a group of radical gay activists. The “teach-in,” which mysteriously seems to have included no teachers, was held at a coffee shop in Middletown, Ct., after the owner of the shop tossed out a closeted gay teen for bringing in a Dunkin’ Donuts cup. In the process, the owner used a derogatory term for homosexuals beginning with the letter “f,” which led to the involvement of the gay-rights group in question.

Thanks to a paper from the local college — the left-wing activist hotbed of Wesleyan University — we now have details on what actually happened:

[The owner] said that he was unaware of the young man’s sexual orientation at the time, and said that his remarks, which included anti-gay slurs, were coincidental.

“[The words] just as easily could have been scumbag, asshole, whatever. . . . I’m sure it was hurtful to him and I’m really sorry about that,” [the owner] said.

Queer Liberation Front organizer and Central Connecticut State University student Aaron McAuliffe said that the group decided to organize the teach-in after the young man’s mother was put in contact with the Hartford-based queer advocacy organization True Colors. The alleged victim’s mother said she contacted True Colors after she was disappointed by the lack of support she received from the Middletown Police Department (MPD), Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Connecticut Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities.

According to McAuliffe, the teach-in was intended as an educational forum on LGBT rights.

“We feel as though when one of us is hurt or attacked, all of us are hurt or attacked,” McAuliffe said. “I think a good way to arm a queer person with intellectual self-defense is to give them a straight-forward educational conversation about what their legal rights are.”

Honest mistake, the owner’ll probably think twice next time, yadda yadda, let’s all go home, right?


#more#Turns out the Queer Liberation Front thinks that’s a very nice coffee shop the owner has, and it’d be a shame if anything happened to it:

The organization also demanded a written apology from Dinerman and a donation of $1,000 to True Colors as a show of good will to the community, according to McAuliffe.

Dinerman said Monday that he was in the process of completing the written apology, and that the group would receive a donation from him.

“I will work out something where I pay them more than a thousand, but on a weekly basis,” Dinerman said. “I don’t have a thousand dollars right now. And I’m not letting any of my friends pay for it. Because it is sort of tantamount to bribery, or blackmail as they call it. But I’m not going to file a blackmail complaint.”

. . . 

“The possibility of a boycott might come up, but we are going to weigh that option very carefully,” Riccio said. “I would say almost certainly if the owner of this establishment engaged in a hate crime or similar behavior again; I don’t want to say absolutely.”

Translation: You pay up or you might find a dead, rainbow-colored fish in your bed, bub.

By the way, the only reason the Queer Liberation Front hasn’t staged a boycott yet is because they don’t want to hurt the workers at the store. No concern for making mountains out of mole hills or anything — they just can’t stand the idea of hurting the proletariat with their little self-absorbed act.

But beyond even the self-absorption of all of this, I would think this entire episode would scare most gay-rights supporters. The Queer Liberation Front just put the going price of using homophobic slurs against customers in your place of business at $1,000. That’s an awfully low price for something they supposedly should want to stamp out. I wonder what the going price for other forms of harassment would be. Seriously, even if you don’t have a problem with blackmailing natively foul-mouthed people, this is an extremely problematic way to go about getting remedies for this.

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