Puerto Rican ATM Spits Out ‘We Hate Fags’ Receipt


A bar called El Ocho de Blanco and an ATM operator in San Juan, Puerto Rico have distanced themselves from an incident in which an ATM at the bar spit out a receipt with the message "We Hate Fags" printed on it, the HuffPost reports:

The ATM company’s president Jorge Torres said “someone from the outside gained access to the system and programming of the machine.” Torres said his company did not intentionally offend the LGBT community and would upgrade its ATM security to make sure nothing like this would happen in the future.

LGBT activist Pedro Julio Serrano thanked the companies for disavowing the homophobic message in a blog post, but also lamented that it happened in the first place. He said the incident made it clear that the island should pass a law proposed by Puerto Rican Sen. Ramón Luis Nieves criminalizing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.


  1. FernLaPlante says

    If ATMs become sentient it’s only a matter of time before they pick up human prejudices. Such a shame.

  2. beef and fur says

    The entire receipt is in Spanish, but the insult is in English. Makes no sense.

  3. Alan says

    B&F – good point. I’m glad this person noticed – I doubt I would have.

    What strikes me as particularly odd though is that this is a flaw in ATM security. I hope it is limited to text printed on receipts and not access to cash.

  4. Bill says

    This company should be shut down – if they can add some text to the receipt, they can almost certainly fiddle with your bank account. Some ATMs (maybe most) use a Microsoft operating system, and if someone gains physical access to that computer, they can do nearly anything.

    This company needs to explain exactly how someone broke into the machine and changed the text. If they don’t know, they don’t even have reliable log files. The company should also agree to pay all the costs associated with any identity theft resulting from their lack of security.

  5. Derrick from Philly says

    “……and I don’t like dumb-ass, ignorant Puerto Ricans.”

    Then, Carlos, you must be ok with the vast majority of Puerto Ricans because the majority are not dumb-ass and ignorant.

  6. Steve P says

    I have to agree with Bill, the most shocking and disturbing thing about this is not the “We hate fags” message, but the severe lack of security of the ATM.

  7. DW says

    I suspect the “someone broke in and reprogrammed our machine” excuse is a smokescreen. Some employee is abusing the system to vent his or her (probably his) prejudice.

  8. jamman says

    Bill is an idiot babbling about subjects he knows nothing about.

    “…if they can add some text to the receipt, they can almost certainly fiddle with your bank account…”

    Not True. Your bank account and balances are not on that computer.

    “…if someone gains physical access to that computer, they can do nearly anything….”

    WTF? Not true.

  9. Pigs says

    I’m not surprised – PR is known for being very anti-gay. Being gay wasn’t even legal until 2003, which shows how behind the times they are. Also, there’s lots of violence against LGBT people there.

  10. says

    @trosado – yes, but this is not a third world country being discussed, this is puerto rico, which is a us territory.

  11. ratbastard says

    Stop the trolling. TR is getting ridiculous.

    Sounds like someone attempting to create publicity for the proposed criminalizing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

  12. Fruit-for-Peace says

    I don’t think Puerto Rico is statistically any more homophobic than the continental U.S. I lived in Puerto Rico for a while and not only did I find the people there NOT overly homophobic, I found the Puerto Rican people to be EXTREMELY friendly, kind and in spite of being very poor, the people were VERY generous. Now the “New-Yor-icans” – they were a different story and even the island Puerto Ricans thought the New-Yor-icans were obnoxious. :-)

    Then again, I was NOT living in San Juan, so there maybe people are more harsh towards LGBT people. I was living in Boqueron and they actually had a MUCH larger gay pride weekend than up in San Juan.


  13. TRosado says


    Because in the continental US or in other “first-world” countries there are no hate crimes against gays…

    It’s not utopia, but it’s not as bad as it looks (though it could definitely be so much better). Puerto Rico has made long strides toward equality in a REALLY short time, if not legally, then culturally, which can only help in the long run. In the Caribbean, at least, it’s one of the best places for gays to be at. And I know we’re talking about gay issues, but Puerto Rico’s Constitution is one of the most advanced in the world and, for example, gave the vote to women earlier than most countries (Switzerland in 1971 vs. PR in 1929).

    Also, homosexuality being decriminalized in 2003 was due to, if I remember correctly, a case of a gay couple in Texas in which the court ruled that the sex the couple was having was consensual and there were no victims. That ruling applied legally to Puerto Rico and that’s when it became decriminalized. It had only been since the late ’90’s that a few courageous gay activists started publicly challenging the government in regard to equality, but before that, there was barely any serious talk in the culture about gay issues. Decriminalization of homosexuality could not have happened because gay issues were the last thing in the government’s radar. I believe that would have happened sooner than later even if the Texas ruling hadn’t happened.

    Again, I’m not denying Puerto Rico has ways to go re: this, but a lot has changed in a relatively short time.

  14. ASRitchie says

    As an out gay man who has traveled to Puerto Rico several times with my partner, I can tell you I have felt more safe there than in many parts of the mainland U.S. We stayed at a B&B owned by a very charming gay couple who had been living happily in PR for over two decades. On the beaches we noticed several gay couples openly holding hands (something I never saw when I was in Florida or Georgia) and my partner and I never felt we had to hide that we were a couple. Hatred against gays can be found everywhere. It is no more or less common in Puerto Rico.

  15. TRosado says

    “this is puerto rico, which is a us territory.”

    Puerto Rico may be part of the US, but culturally it’s a different (hi)story.

  16. jamal49 says

    What has happened in Puerto Rico is also happening in the Dominican Republic. What were once predominantly Catholic countries and somewhat tolerant of private, consensual sex between men have now become hotbeds of evangelical, pentecostal christianity. With such religious aberrations come all those intolerant, literal interpretations of the bible. In both countries, homophobia has become very blatant and rampant. I am a frequent visitor to both places and have been since the early 1970s. The changes to both cultures because of the corrupting influence of evangelicals is astonishing and very disheartening.

  17. David Hearne says


    “On the beaches we noticed several gay couples openly holding hands (something I never saw when I was in Florida or Georgia”

    Then you must not have visited St Pete Beach. We have gay couples on the beach, both St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island have unofficial gay beaches which are also popular with European tourists.