News | Stacey Campfield | Tennessee

TN Bistro Owner Martha Boggs Thanks Supporters, Talks About Kicking Anti-Gay Senator Our of Restaurant: VIDEO


Martha Boggs, the owner of Knoxville, Tennessee's Bistro at the Bijou restaurant who refused to serve "Don't Say Gay" bill author Senator Stacey Campfield last week, explains why she did it to the Knoxville News.


Boggs also posted a thank you to her supporters on the restaurant's Facebook page yesterday.

Dear Friends

I want to thank everyone for all the wonderful e-mails and posts sent over the last few days. While I have read each and every one of them, I dearly wish that I had the time to respond to you all personally. The stories and emotions that you shared with me are deeply touching. I truly had no idea that the power of the internet would take this story of a simple act of defiance and take it all the way around the world in a matter of 72 hours and touch so many lives.

I am just a hill billy from Ducktown TN, my family is blue collar. I have worked really hard to get where I am today but I had a lot of help along the way. Like many of you I was bullied and teased for various reasons but in the end it only made me stronger. I hope that the pain that many of you have endured will help make you stronger as well.

While I truly appreciate the sentiment to come by and patronize my establishment, that was not my intent, but if you trulyfwwl compeled to make a contribution against hatred and intolerance, please donate to the local politican of your choice where you money and your vote will do the most good to you personally.

let the healing begin, it will get better.
Martha Boggs


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  1. Martha is well-spoken and intelligently informed. If only we could say the same about Campfield.

    Posted by: DiatribesAndOvationsTo | Feb 2, 2012 9:27:30 AM

  2. I've never wanted to eat at a restaurant and talk to the owner so much in my life.

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 2, 2012 9:41:04 AM

  3. What a great woman and a great letter! We need to remember this when we stereotype about people and who our friends and enemies might be. As she says, she's a "hill billy" from TN - I'm so glad to see the face of one of our friends there.

    Posted by: mike128 | Feb 2, 2012 10:22:49 AM

  4. Congratulations to her!. It is important that we all stand up for human rights, especially in the face of extreme bigotry.

    Posted by: rick | Feb 2, 2012 10:42:27 AM

  5. She is one smart, courageous hillbilly. I hope good things continue to come her way.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Feb 2, 2012 10:46:04 AM

  6. Awesome letter. I love that she's not trying to make this into a personal "star turn" or a money maker, instead encouraging people to make things better in their own communities.

    FWIW, I'm another "hillbilly" from and in Tennessee, currently living in a town smaller than Knoxville.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 2, 2012 11:12:18 AM

  7. She's a class act.

    Posted by: yep | Feb 2, 2012 12:02:29 PM

  8. I believe that what she did was wrong. If you have a Bistro that is open to serve the public, that is what she should do. Serve the public. Don't pick and chose those you will serve based on their positions on political and social issues. Would those hailing her as a hero give similar accolades to a Bistro owner who throws supporters of gay marriage out of their establishment because they disagree with them?

    Posted by: jack | Feb 2, 2012 2:42:03 PM

  9. Jack, she is not a public establishment. She is a private establishment and does have every right to refuse service to anyone at anytime for no reason at all.

    Posted by: AidenRaccoon | Feb 2, 2012 5:05:29 PM


    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Feb 2, 2012 8:25:37 PM

  11. Jack, I have to agree with you. While I think it's horrible what Campfield is doing, I can't condone him being thrown out of a restaurant because of his (misguided) opinions. It would have been beneficial if she had voiced her views to Campfield while she had him as a captive audience and served him anyway.

    Aren't we outraged when a B&B won't accommodate a gay couple, or when a religious organization asks a "gay couple" to leave the premises? While we disagree with those on the other side of the issue, let's treat them as WE ALL DESERVE to be treated.

    Posted by: Askagway | Feb 3, 2012 1:36:03 AM

  12. Good on ya, Martha!

    Posted by: Brokebackvol | Feb 3, 2012 6:02:55 AM

  13. I wrote a song about this subject! Click the link if you care to listen. or go to

    Posted by: Crispy Watkins | Feb 10, 2012 12:16:36 AM

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