Discrimination | Facebook | News | Stacey Campfield | Tennessee

TN Senator Stacey Campfield Reportedly Thrown Out of Restaurant Over His Anti-Gay Remarks: VIDEO


Knoxville, Tennessee restaurant Bistro at the Bijou is receiving boatloads of support on Facebook after reports began surfacing that it refused service to state Senator Stacey Campfield out and asked him to leave.

Campfield is also getting blowback from local news outlets in Tennessee over his remarks. Watch him defend them in a WBIR interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

CampfieldCampfield, who has been in the news again recently because he's still trying to push his heinous homophobic "don't say gay" bill in Tennessee, gave an interview last week to Michelangelo Signorile in which he asserted that bullying of gay kids "is a lark", compared homosexuality to sex with animals, asserted that homosexuality is "glorified" in the media, and that it's "virtually impossible" for heterosexuals to contract AIDS.

Some of the responses on Facebook to the alleged restaurant incident:

Brooke Scurlock
From Nashville- thank you for your stand against bigotry and discrimination! Will be sure to eat at your place when in Knoxville and spread the word to friends and family! Thank you!

Jeff Doughty
Just heard a rumor that yall asked th village idiot to leave!! If its true, THANK YOU!!

Kelly Schaal
If you did indeed kick Mr. Campfield out of your establishment...I applaud you!! That clown is an embarrassment to our state and an embarrassment to the residents that actually aren't small minded bigots, living in a 1950's mentality. I cannot wait for this joke of a "representative" to be replaced. He has done absolutely NOTHING for the people of Tennessee. These old school bigots will soon become the minority. I guess those of you that actually agree with his politics, should enjoy it while it lasts! He WILL be replaced very soon. I've always enjoyed The Bistro and now I'll enjoy it even more.

I haven't been able to find a full, proper account of what went down at the Bistro, and Facebook responders are also asking for one, so, hopefully we'll hear something official soon.

UPDATE - from Buzzfeed:

An unfazed Campfield told BuzzFeed in a brief telephone interview that "I went in there and the lady started calling me names and wouldn't serve me." The hostess told him he was a homophobe and that he hates homosexuals, he said.

Campfield said that on the contrary, he has no problem with gays. "In my business I do rental properties and I've rented to homosexuals, mixed-race couples, black couples," he said. "And about every single group you can think of has been in my office."

There's also a petition online to fire Campfield and a Facebook page to recall him.

Watch Campfield's interview with WBIR defending his anti-gay remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. We have public accomodations laws in the U.S. which make it a crime to refuse to serve people in your restaurant. Just imagine the outrage on the left (which i consider myself a part of) if a restaurant refused to serve gay people or black people or whatever. Shame on that restaurant owner. You are no better than the bigots on the right. We have freedom of speech in the USA no matter how ignorant or bigoted the speech. These leftists are acting like Lester Maddox with his axe handle keeping blacks out of his restaurant.

    Posted by: Jack | Jan 30, 2012 9:11:03 AM

  2. @Jack: You're misconstruing the law. Businesses have the right refuse service to *individuals*. Have you have never noticed signs in restaurants that state "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?" What a business cannot do is refuse service to someone because of group membership (race, religion, etc).

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | Jan 30, 2012 9:20:19 AM

  3. We have public accommodations laws in the US? Really?

    Because I was a bit confused when LGBT couples of the past few years have been denied stays at B&Bs, and when LGBT couples' weddings have not been welcomed by public wedding chapels, and when LGBT wedding cakes have been refused to be made by homophobic bakers, and when LGBT wedding decorations have been refused by homophobic florists, and when GSA t-shirts have been refused to be made by homophobic shirt makers.

    Are you sure those laws exist?

    If they do, they aren't being enforced. Perhaps we need to make a statement to inform the people.

    Ah, excellent. A restaurant that refuses to serve a homophobe! Legal? No. Got your attention? Yes sir.

    Posted by: kpo5 | Jan 30, 2012 9:21:59 AM

  4. @Jack: Also, the First Amendment guarantees that Congress shall make no law abridging speech. Private entities can - and do - abridge speech all the time. Newspapers decide which letters to print in their editorial section, for example. Another example is that the editors of this site can decide to delete comments at will. Neither of these cases come under the purview of the First Amendment because neither one involves the government curbing speech. It's all private individuals. Just the same, a restaurant (unless its the cafeteria of Congress, I suppose) is not a government entity and therefore, refusing service to an individual is not in any way a First Amendment issue.

    Posted by: RyanInSacto | Jan 30, 2012 9:27:44 AM

  5. Most public accommodations laws are a state by state matter. Some states, like New Jersey, do make it illegal for businesses to discriminate against LGBT people, but many do not. However, in no state is being a bigot a protected category, and this restaurant was well within their rights to kick out Sen. Campfield if they don't want his money.

    Posted by: Scott | Jan 30, 2012 9:38:43 AM

  6. Was he asked to leave because of prior statements? Or did he make a scene in the restaurant? I'd think it wouldn't be appropriate to kick out David Duke himself just for being David Duke. But if he said anything racist, homophobic, etc. I'd be fine kicking him or anyone out.

    Posted by: JakeP | Jan 30, 2012 9:42:40 AM

  7. Suddenly I feel the need for a road trip to Knoxville just so I can eat at this restaurant.

    Posted by: Bobby | Jan 30, 2012 9:42:47 AM

  8. I shared the post and Liked the Bistro on FB.

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Jan 30, 2012 9:43:43 AM

  9. You can be kicked out over political views, and while brave, they now risk a lot of retaliation. He can just call in a few favors and have the place shut down over a health inspection.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 30, 2012 9:51:05 AM

  10. The man is so ignorant he should move to Oklahoma and team up with Sally Kern.

    Posted by: Jay | Jan 30, 2012 10:05:15 AM

  11. I wondered how long it would take your you liberal morons to start defending this guys right to hate with no consequences. Not long at all!

    Posted by: Jwl | Jan 30, 2012 10:23:31 AM

  12. Here's some more detail about the incident, including a couple of choice quotes by the restaurant owner:


    Posted by: Russ | Jan 30, 2012 10:31:17 AM

  13. The guy is totally ignorant, but this interviewer must come from a local junior college.

    Posted by: Continuum | Jan 30, 2012 10:35:20 AM

  14. There's no doubt that standing up for what's right can be risky. Most of us know that from first-hand experience. Being courageous though, despite the threat of retaliation, is what affects real change. I applaud them for giving him a taste of his own medicine.

    Posted by: Carlos Abreu | Jan 30, 2012 10:46:54 AM

  15. Anyone else look at this guy and can't help but feel that he'll be the next with a toe-tapping in the mens room episode??

    Posted by: robert | Jan 30, 2012 10:58:44 AM

  16. WERK!

    this is the change we're going to see happen the more people take a stand; that the social pariahs are the anti-gays, not the gays.

    it's a change that's already coming, it's already affecting families, businesses, communities.

    another proud moment for liberal thinking :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 30, 2012 11:00:22 AM

  17. Uhhhh...it's a shame this reporter is an absolute moron. The news outlet that deployed her to deal with this case wasted a chance here.

    "Ohhhhm...well, the dawkter sez that's wrowng, sehw..."

    Posted by: Tom | Jan 30, 2012 11:09:32 AM

  18. It is illegal in TN to deny accommodations based on an individual's race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin.

    So, lgbt people aren't covered, but neither are crazy homophobic a-holes, so kudos to the Bistro. BTW, some seem to have missed their point that they were aware they were "unfairly" discriminating. In other words, they were intentionally giving him a taste of his own toxic medicine.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 30, 2012 11:11:53 AM

  19. The Bistro at the Bijou is located, appropriately, on South Gay Street

    Posted by: Paul Keckonen | Jan 30, 2012 11:20:00 AM

  20. I'm from Knoxville and only wish I was there now JUST to eat at the Bistro in support of Ms. Bogg's choice to stand up to ignorance. Kudos to her! If people continue to stand up to these idiots, things will change for the better a lot more quickly.

    Posted by: Thomas | Jan 30, 2012 11:22:49 AM

  21. Actually any restaurant or restaurant worker has the right to refuse service if they think that person will be or is a threat to himself, other patrons, or other workers.

    Posted by: Will | Jan 30, 2012 11:29:06 AM

  22. jack it is illegal to not serve specific groups of people

    But all establishments do have a right to refuse service to single individuals (as long as it isnt a trend amongst said establishment)

    Posted by: say what | Jan 30, 2012 11:33:17 AM

  23. @ JWL

    LOL more like gay repubs are defending him you nit wit

    progressivism liberalism tolerance logically can not defend the intolerant for that would be the death of tolerance/ liberalism/ progressivism

    Posted by: say what | Jan 30, 2012 11:35:29 AM

  24. @ SAY WHAT


    Don't you love when the GayCons come on and say "No! Now you're being prejudiced and intolerant against them! so much for your liberal tolerance, huh? yeah, you liberals are hypocrites!"


    oh, those poor sad conservatives. wake up, boys. just because your stupid-ass families say things like "they're the real ones who are intolerant because they're intolerant of us" doesn't mean they're right. in fact it proves how stupid they are. and how stupid some of you are for repeating it as if it makes sense. it doesn't.

    Stacey Campfield is a bigot pig and this is exactly what he deserves.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jan 30, 2012 11:41:25 AM

  25. Stacey Campfield is what stupid people think "smart" sounds like...

    Posted by: Foster Keats | Jan 30, 2012 11:42:31 AM

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