Colorado Shelter Boots Homeless Man for Being Gay

“I don’t allow homosexuals to use these facilities” is what John Garon says he was told by the Rev. Richard Thebo, director at the Fort Collins Colorado homeless shelter Open Door.

GaronThebo says that Garon was kicked out after he made a pass at another homeless man, causing an altercation:

“Garon was asked to leave after he ‘hit on’ another man at the shelter, which led to a fight, Thebo said. Staff and other clients were ‘very put out’ by Garon, Thebo said, because he’d flaunt his sexuality. Garon said he never made any advances toward anyone at the shelter and made only occasional, passing comments about his ex-partner.”

Still, Thebo said, he can’t stay there overnight because of his sexuality:

“However, even if Garon had not gotten into the altercation, he still could have been denied a bed at the shelter simply for being gay, Thebo said. Gays and lesbians are allowed to eat meals and take showers at the facility, Thebo said, but are not allowed to sleep in the shelter. ‘I will not let them exert their sexuality here,’ he said. ‘Men have to sleep next to other men (in the shelter).'”

What would Jesus do?

Man claims he was evicted from shelter for being gay [the coloradoan]


  1. Aaron says

    At least if this selter receives any government funding, that practice will have to end in August. The legislature recently passed an ENDA law here in Colorado and it goes into affect starting in August.

  2. nycredneck says

    truly a “what you do unto the least of me” moment. i’m like jesus christ people jesus befriended and cared for lepers and you can’t let a gay guy sleep in a homeless shelter. me thinks there is a special room in hell for these people.

  3. Zeke says

    I was wondering how long it would take before someone here took the word of the OBVIOUSLY bigoted “Rev.” and chastised the gay guy.

    Seven comments in. Not a record but close!

    Steve, did you read the comments of the “Rev.”? Is it not just a bit likely that when his bigotry was brought to light that he would try to cover himself by making a bogus and sensational claim?

  4. Mike in the Tundra says

    Give me that old time religion. You know the one. It says God is hate.

    Steve and Michael W., the guy claims he didn’t make a pass. So we only have the word of a phobe that he did.

  5. Wayne says

    I agree with Steve. This article appears slanted in the first place. Give me quotes from all parties involved, not just the sole homeless gay guy saying he was kicked out because of his sexuality. And as Steve said, is it wise to make a pass at someone when you’re in a shelter? This story doesn’t sit right with me…somthing sounds fishy here. And Mike in the Tundra, you only have the word of a homeless guy who got in a fight with someone else in a shelter saying that he didn’t make a pass…but I guess since he’s gay he has to be telling the truth.

  6. rayrayj says

    According to the paradoxically titled Reverend, it did not matter whether the guy had made a pass or not, he could be denied a bed merely on the basis of his sexual orientation. Thus one could theoretically be celibate and denied a bed.

    Hopefully another group (operating in the true spirit of Jesus; whatever their theology) will open an alternative shelter and steal away all of the Reverend’s (gag) funding.

  7. Jonathon says

    Sick. Just sick. I hope that the “god” that people like the “Reverend” truly believe in is the one waiting for them when they die. I can only hope that the “Reverend” is shown as much love, mercy and respect as he has shown gay and lesbian HOMELESS people.

    No one is coming to turn his shelter into a gay recruiting center. No one is trying to turn his shelter into a gay orgy. If a homeless shelter can’t be open to everyone who needs it, then why should it be allowed to be open at all?

    THIS is exactly why “faith-based” social services are just wrong. What matters most is the NEED that someone has, not who or what they are. Please people…. support secularism and human rights. Imagine a day when people like the “Reverend” are no longer able to push their narrow views on helpless people.

  8. Zeke says

    You can always tell when is having a slow day. Their members instinctively flock to Towleroad bringing their “blame the dirty faggot first” meme with them.

  9. says

    This should encourage any gay person (but especially those living well) to think about and start to work on creating a shelter (or at least donating to one) that addresses the needs of gay people.

    The majority of homeless people (especially teenagers) are not homeless because of substance abuse, but because of being rejected by so-called loved ones because of their sexual orientation.

    Most people don’t want to admit it to themselves, but most Americans are only three paychecks away from financial ruin and 90 to 120 days from homelessness.

  10. Jack! says

    Wayne what article did you read? Garon did not comment. Those were Rev. Thebo’s comments.

    I don’t believe Garon made a pass at anyone. The “he made a pass at me” excuse has been used in cases like this to murder. They just wanted to kick him out.

    Last week Elizabeth Edwards used that excuse in trying to deny that her husband ever said he was uncomfortable around gay people. She said an old gay college friend made a pass at her husband. BULL!

  11. mark m says

    When a bigot makes a sensational claim he better have sensational evidence. This bigot did not. So yes, the gay guy must be right.

    I really do try to avoid throwing around the term “self hating” but when someone’s first instinct is to take the word of a confessed bigot over a homosexual man, it’s easy to jump to such conclusions.

  12. karma says

    he deserves it, sometimes gay men can be perverts and he deserved to be kicked out, i as a gay guy know what i am capable of sometimes but i control myself so you guys dont act like you dont want to hit on str8 guys appropriately all the time

  13. Lee Gordon says

    Equal Rights for All. Lawsuit Time. I hope this ends up being a worthy case. Too often I read about queers doing what straight people do all the time (olding hands, kissing, wanting to see each other as they lay dying, you know the small tings that make up LIFE) and getting shit for it. I am sorry Mark M, but all people canbe perverts, doesnt amke all people are perverts and have no self control.

  14. Steve B. says

    Rev. Thebo needs to re-read his bible, especially these passages. Ezekiel 16:48-50 “As surely as I am the living God,” the Sovereign Lord says, “your sister Sodom and her villages never did the evil that you and your villages have done. She and her daughters were proud because they had plenty to eat and lived in peace and quiet, but they did not take care of the poor and the underprivileged. They were proud and stubborn and did the things that I hate, so I destroyed them, as you well know.”

  15. Steve B. says

    According to these verses, God destroyed Sodom andd Gomorrah for being rude and hospitable NOT because there was some man-on-man action going on.

  16. Zeke says

    LEE, I think you intended that comment to be directed at KARMA (the troll that we’re not feeding) rather than MARK M.

    STEVE B., I think you meant to say “rude and inhospitable”.

  17. dina says

    Very uncool to deny anyone entry into a homeless shelter for any reason … but it sounds like this guy may have been booted for his behavior. The purpose of shelters is to give people a safe haven from the streets; the last thing most people in this situation need is to be the object of unwanted sexual attention.

    I agree with the other posters — this article isn’t exactly well-written or -researched. Who knows what the real story is.

  18. Daniel says

    My Dina, you have such a round about way of writing I’m not sure exactly which posts you agree with or what you’re trying to say.

    I think that many heterosexuals assume gay men are making passes at them whether they are or not.

    I will believe the gay man until I actually hear something concrete either way.

  19. ALISON says


    I think Dina is saying that making unwanted sexual advances in a shelter would justify someone being kicked out, gay or straight.

    Also that it’s a lousy article.
    Hope I helped! – Ali

  20. Sheri in SF says

    I teach journalism and would have given this article an F if it were written by one of my students!

    So many problems … convoluted lede; no quotes from John Garon besides what he says the minister told him; the opening statement (“I don’t allow homosexuals …”) is made to seem like a direct quote when it is in fact hearsay.

    Not to mention it’s clearly biased.

    This article offers very little substance and credibility. If this situation is true, it would benefit from a much better journalist covering the story.

  21. Dr. Pat says

    I am suprized by this article. Since Paris is in the big house why aren’t the major news networks on this…..

    Just a thought…………….

  22. Dr. Pat says

    I would think that Open Door should be renamed. Closed Closet. The city should stop funding it and or shut the place down. I still don’t understand the term /came on to/ or do we use this term to hide our sexuallity. I can think that being friendly can to termed /came on to/. The staff member might be gay and has been hidding if for years them some one that knows his history just happened by. There is way more to this story than we read or are told. Film at eleven.

    Just a thought.

  23. Andy in Indy says

    Whether the homeless man made a pass at another homeless man is irrelevant.
    The “Reverend” stated that gays are not welcome to sleep in the shelter in any situation.
    Am I one of the few that actually read THAT part?

Leave A Reply