Canada | Discrimination | Gay Slurs | News

Homophobic Attacks Drive Gay Canadian Restaurant Owners to Close Business, Leave Town

Homophobes have essentially run a gay-owned business out of town in rural Manitoba, Canada because of a series of unrelenting verbal attacks, its mayor tells the Winnipeg Free Press:

Potsnhands"It's very sad this has happened, that people have been small-minded enough to make them feel unwelcome," van der Linde said Monday. "It certainly doesn't reflect well on the community."

The two owners are from Winnipeg and felt they were filling a void with their restaurant, which specializes in home-cooked lunch and dinners. But they weren't prepared for the bigotry they experienced in the form of direct comments and confrontations about their sexual orientation.

The owners did not specify what the attacks were:

"It's been very difficult for us. It got to the point of being out of control by this certain group of people," one of the owners told the Free Press on Monday. They originally declined to speak last week, saying only that they were closing for "personal" reasons. But they later changed their minds on Monday after learning many others were expressing concern on their behalf. They asked that their names not be published for fear of ongoing retribution.

"This has been a very difficult decision," said the co-owner. "I cannot tell you how this has affected us on so many levels."

"Both of us understand this small group of individuals don't represent the community of Morris and surrounding communities as a whole," said one. Although it wasn't a secret that the restaurant was owned by two gay men, he said they've done nothing to "flaunt" their sexual orientation.

"But by no means are we ashamed of who we are and how we live," he said,

The paper did catch up with one homophobe (below) who is not unhappy they are leaving:

"They should get the hell out of here. I don't really like them -- the service and who they are," said Aaron Kleinsasser of Morris, as he came out of another restaurant in town. "I agree (they should leave). It makes you feel uncomfortable. I've been in there twice, I believe, and I regret it. I'm never going to go back there again."


Feed This post's comment feed


  1. @Swiminbuff - clearly his feed bag was empty and his mom wasn't around to refill it so he went a'walkin'.

    i remember my one and only experience in manitoba.... caught some teens spraying "white power" on my friend's van. only they spelled it "wight power". we chose to laugh rather than be angry. wight power. right. their lives are gonna be soaring successes.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 2, 2013 2:18:35 PM

  2. Small towns across Canada are dying because there are few jobs to keep the kids once they graduate high school. Towns like Morris should be cheering on ANY new business in town, particularly if the Big City (Winnipeg) is less than an hour's drive away.

    The federal cabinet minister referred to in the story, Vic Toews, has given permission to hate-filled Manitobans to bully anyone they want. By campaigning against new anti-bullying legislation as anti-religion, he's encouraged this kind of abuse in schools and outside as well. The only thing that has a hope of stopping his hate is his much-coveted appointment as a senior Federal judge! (To learn more about him and hypocrisy, Google his name, "divorce" and "baby-sitter")

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Apr 2, 2013 2:23:13 PM

  3. Exactly why were they forced to leave? My guess is that they simply aren't making any money. Small town restaurants generally have to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner to make money and the food has to be a local favorite. This isn't easy to pull off. I'd be surprised if they were making money but decided to split because of the comments of some of their patrons.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 2, 2013 2:39:55 PM

  4. It certainly sounds from this reporting like this is a very unwelcoming town for gays, but the fact most small business, especially restaurants, don't last long, and go out of business. Operating a small independent business is VERY hard work and is an uphill battle these days.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 2, 2013 2:47:00 PM

  5. I've been a fan of Canada ever since they passed SSM nationwide in 2005. But I've always wondered if it's really such a progressive wonderland as is frequently claimed. This story seems to peel back the layers of self-congratulation and reveal a population that is as thoroughly homophobic as it is here in my own state of Texas.

    Now I'm wondering if it was just the fluke of having a different political system that made it much easier to get SSM passed so soon. Sure doesn't sound like the "real Candians" love the gays, anymore than Sarah Palin's "real Americans" do.

    Anyone who has actually lived among Canadians, and not in a gayborhood of a big city, can add more about the attitudes of ordinary citizens up there?

    Posted by: Russ | Apr 2, 2013 3:17:53 PM

  6. Russ - there are many factors. A biggie is that our second-largest religious denomination in the country is the United Church - which is pretty darn progressive. I was raised in it, with a gay minister, in an Affirming congregation.

    There's also the reality that our charter of rights and freedoms is pretty exceptional - it makes it very clear that despite one's held prejudices, those prejudices cannot be codified into law. No Canadian will pretend our country is free from backward-thinking bigots; but the reality is their bigotries hold little to no political power or sway.

    Ordinary citizens? it's largely live and let live - but bible-thumpers still exist, especially in the more rural neighbourhoods, and conservative provinces.

    the difference is in political structure AND in media - we don't have a Fox News on television reinforcing ignorant bigotries to people in the guise of "news" - and make no mistake, that has a massive impact on the country and culture.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 2, 2013 3:31:21 PM

  7. No sadly we still have lot's of people in the closet here in Canada! Too bad these guys are getting run out of town because a group of men cannot come to terms with their own sexuality..We have come way to far in this country to allow these people to win. I would not leave and as long as you have the support of the rest of town, f*)k em! Call the police and have them arrested!

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 2, 2013 3:42:58 PM

  8. This happened in CANADA! This makes me sad to be Canadian right now. To be honest thought look at the state of the guy saying these things, by the looks of it hes dating his cousin.

    Posted by: Shawn C | Apr 2, 2013 4:03:08 PM

  9. @Russ. Me and my partner of more than 15 years live in a small town in northern New Brunswick, on the East coast. Even if NB is not the most liberal of our provinces, we never heard a peep about us being gay from anyone.Is it because francophones are a majority around here and they, in most cases, have an attitude of "laissez-faire" or because the church has basically zero influence in public life (or because I'm a lawyer and people know I don't take s..t from anyone), life for gay people around here is pretty good. It is basically a non-issue.

    Posted by: roupie | Apr 2, 2013 4:28:00 PM

  10. @Russ. Me and my partner of more than 15 years live in a small town in northern New Brunswick, on the East coast. Even if NB is not the most liberal of our provinces, we never heard a peep about us being gay from anyone.Is it because francophones are a majority around here and they, in most cases, have an attitude of "laissez-faire" or because the church has basically zero influence in public life (or because I'm a lawyer and people know I don't take s..t from anyone), life for gay people around here is pretty good. It is basically a non-issue.

    Posted by: roupie | Apr 2, 2013 4:28:01 PM

  11. @AJ: Hopefully littlekiwi's rants and intolerence of dissent won't stop you from expressing your opinions because that is his goal. He constantly, through devious tactic, tries to bully people into silence. He has many aliases that he uses to make it seem like a large number of people agree with him. Don't be fooled by this intollerant authoritarian bully!!!

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 2, 2013 5:51:41 PM

  12. Ok first of all, Morris is not representative of Manitoba or even rural Manitoba. It's part of the Mennonite Bible Belt and has a population of about 1800. In the article, the two homophobes quoted have Mennonite surnames. I've lived in Winnipeg all of my life and it's one of the most progressive and accepting cities when it comes to LGBT issues (and was also the world's first major city to elect a gay mayor back in 1998)

    Most of the rest of the province is of the "live and let live" mentality. It's this particularly conservative religion which is the problem here and should in no way, influence anyone to paint the rest of the province, or even the Prairies as intolerant.

    Incidentally, Morris was the town that made the national news a couple months ago when its newspaper editor published a racist editorial against First Nations peoples.

    Posted by: MikeMB | Apr 2, 2013 8:43:02 PM

  13. Very interesting stuff about larger Canada here. British Columbia is a big part of my Northwestern American life, and of course Vancouver is an exciting and impressive city, hugely liberal and tolerant as are most places with a significant Scandinavian influence.

    Gay people get in trouble everywhere, it's just that maybe less so in big cities, and possible in Canada generally.

    But there's no excuse for Kiwi anywhere.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 2, 2013 10:43:13 PM

  14. BullyKiwi: "i'm one of the few people who puts a face and name to their comments"

    I just scrolled through your awful blog, you don't put your name, you put an alias, just like all the people you attack. I still laugh at the one time you tried that "post your URL!!!!" crap and the guy wrote back "Here's my real name, what's YOURS?" and...crickets.

    "the haters hate that because they don't have the orbs to do the same"

    No, anyone who uses their real name online is an idiot, inviting stalkers and nutjobs. I don't care that BullyKiwi uses an alias, it's the hypocrisy.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Apr 2, 2013 11:23:23 PM

  15. i'm tickled that some grown man with no balls took the time to use different aliases to talk about me, rather than the article. your obsessive infatuation is duly noted.

    crickets? what are you talking about? hi, here i am, with my face and name, talking about Gay Issues for all of Canada to see.

    you pathetic coward :D

    if the link doens't work, try here:

    or let me know and i can send you a transcript. :D

    i've been public and visible and doing whatever little bit i can to give a face to Who We Are since I was a highschooler. whatever you adult insecurities are, don't lump them onto me. my spine is intact.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 2, 2013 11:36:31 PM


    for you, "Herr Holland". you're welcome, btw, for all i've done that guys like you refuse to do. :D

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 2, 2013 11:56:12 PM

  17. Kiwi is a fraud. It's that simple.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 3, 2013 12:55:04 AM

  18. But then again, what am I?

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 3, 2013 1:01:12 AM

  19. Idiots live in the biggest cities and the smallest towns. No geographical area is exempt. Don't quit...take your skills to where they would be appreciated. Certainly don't quit because some knuckle-dragging idiot got some face time on the local news. Egads...just when I thought I was horny enough to do ANY man, then this thing comes along...

    Posted by: millerbeach | Apr 3, 2013 2:55:29 AM

  20. So much for the "enlightened North" huh?

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Apr 3, 2013 1:18:34 PM

  21. How can it be that supporting gay choice is progressive? If humans would endorse gay style, there would be no humans any more. Progress, and that is us now comparing to us from before, is the result of the evolution and becoming extinct because of sexual preference of same sex can not yield progressive results.

    Posted by: Smurf | Apr 3, 2013 1:55:01 PM

  22. When I moved to Canada in 2010 from London for a job opportunity I was excited to move to a progressive country with polite people, diversity and a safe environment. What I arrived to were unfriendly, arrogant bigots with moderate education and more shooting than cities in the United States whom they openly hate. Canada has a wonderful PR system. Don't believe it. I am thrilled to say I am taking a new job in the States in May.

    Posted by: Clive | Apr 3, 2013 9:26:58 PM

  23. Cool.......

    There just m a y be 'hope' for Y O U

    Y E T ......., canada.......

    Posted by: John Lutz | May 31, 2013 2:00:19 AM

  24. « 1 2

Post a comment


« «Rachel Maddow Notes That the Republican Party is a Confused Mess on Marriage Equality: VIDEO« «