North Carolina Restaurant Says No To PFLAG Fundraiser

A North Carolina pizza restaurant has received heavy criticism for refusing to host a fundraiser for the local Gaston County chapter of PFLAG, something it has done repeatedly for other organizations in the past.

1According to the Gaston Gazette, Doug Rogers, owner of Johnny B’s Pizza Pad, claims he was not being discriminatory:

“I think everyone on our planet is entitled to happiness,” Rogers said Thursday. “It’s not my decision to determine how to live your life. I’m just making a business decision not to host that organization here because I feel like it’s not a good business decision.”

However, the PFLAG chapter's president, Ginger Feimster, says she spoke to Rogers herself and he was distinctly more blunt with her.

“He said he just couldn’t do it because of his personal feelings,” she said. “He said, ‘I just don’t approve of that lifestyle, and I’m not doing anything to support it.’”

Rogers has also allegedly deleted many critical comments on the restaurant's Facebook page.

A PFLAG Gaston board member suggested that his actions might affect Johnny B’s Pizza Pad in the future:

“I think it’s extremely disheartening in today’s world and today’s reality,” he said. “I don’t think he was thinking clearly or understood what he was doing will have broader implications. I know there are a lot of us who will not patronize his business now.”

On the bright side, Rogers has agreed to attend a PFLAG summer theater production this weekend at a local Episcopal Church. The PFLAG chapter has been active in Gaston County since 2009.

Photo via Facebook

Comments

  1. Jason MacBride says

    Southern slaveowners also claimed they were just looking out for the best interests of their business, even though slavery was the most inefficient and unprofitable labor system ever devised.

  2. Mike in Texas says

    I can’t figure out when being the parent or ally of GLBTs became a “lifestyle.”

  3. Robert Butler says

    I live in North Carolina and I’m happy to say that despite the South’s reputation for being largely conservative/intolerant, this guy is the exception and NOT the rule. Note to Mr. Rogers: Owning and operating a pizza restaurant is a “lifestyle”, being gay is an orientation. As a person, he’s ignorant. As a business owner, he seems stupid. I can only hope that the good people of Gaston County will find his bigoted “disapproval” unappetizing and take their business elsewhere.

  4. pete n sfo says

    So the guy has to attend a community theatre production?

    Well, that probably is punishment enough. :)

  5. says

    WOW.

    “Hey,sorry. I can’t allow you people to eat here. you put families back together and I personally think that if a family has a gay kid, they should shame that kid and do what Rick Warren did and drive that kid to suicide. I’m the very type of person that needs your organization most – therefore, you can’t come here.”

    pretty much.

    #disgusting

  6. I wont grow up says

    Here we go again, so some restaurant owner doesn’t want to host a gay group. So what!
    I know it’s important to know your enemies. But why organize boycotts and sit-ins when all that does is garner more publicity and more business for the restaurant. Why not publicize the places that DO host meetings, weddings and fund raisers?

  7. Dastius Krazitauc says

    There is a facebook page called “Johnny B’s Pizza Pad DON’T EAT THERE” with this idiotic comment from a supporter of discrimination: “Just because one doesn’t support the lifestyle of another, it doesn’t mean that they are being judgmental!” Good lord.

  8. David says

    It’s because of people like Doug Rogers that we need groups like P-FLAG. I hope that someone points this out to him.

  9. Scott says

    Its poor writing to use a acronym with out saying what it stands for in the first instance of its use. I should not have to independently look up what the acronym PFLAG stands for.

  10. TTKU says

    This is an exemplar of how obvious, open animus gets fig-leafed with a transparent membrane of faux-rationality. The argument goes from being “I don’t like your lifestyle” to “I’m just making a business decision”.

    Yo, Kennedy!….you gotta man up, ol’ man, and acknowledge that Equality IS a constitutional right. We’re not takin’ no for an answer.

    @Scott: Your principle for “good writing” regarding acronyms becomes greatly attenuated when an acronym has become so well-known that it overtakes the full name of the organization. Your individual ignorance of common knowledge does not convert into stylistic obligation for a writer addressing a reasonably intelligent mainstream audience. In other words, “Try To Keep Up.”

  11. McMike says

    Just like a cockroach does when the lights turn on, a homophobe desperately scurried and tries to hide his true feelings.

  12. McMike says

    Just like a cockroach does when the lights turn on, a homophobe desperately scurried and tries to hide his true feelings.

  13. Scooterooscottweatgatd1976@gmail.com says

    I made a pretty innocent, business minded comment and it was deleted in less that 10 seconds after posting on Thor page.

  14. Scooteroo says

    I left a pretty innocent comment based on business 101- growing a business and it was removed within 10 seconds!

  15. jjose712 says

    I wont grow up: As far as i know nobody started a boycott.

    And not, what happened with Chick-Fil-A wasn’t good for their business (yes, that apreciation day was big cash, but a business need clients all days) if it was, they wouldn’t have any problem in letting Dan Cathy speak his mind all the time, but their PR try to avoid the damage he makes like the plague, wich makes me believe that they lost more clients than the ones they won

  16. GeoffreyPS says

    Without knowing the details of the planned fundraiser it’s difficult for me to judge this situation. Did the planned fundraiser give the appearance that it was endorsed by the business owner? Business 101 for small businesses is to avoid political issues and to give the appearance of neutrality.

  17. Dave says

    They deleted my comment in support of their right to discriminate against “those people”

  18. *****overTX says

    North Carolina is in the 4th Circuit of the Courts of Appeals. With the decision of the 4th Circuit Court on Virginia’s same sex marriage case, North Carolina is on track to have their recently passed anti-gay same sex marriage amendment declared unconstitutional by the same decision. It does not matter what this homophobe believes or does. Marriage equality will become the law of the land. This person is simply making sure that his restaurant carries a bad name on internet sites from now to forever.

  19. *****overTX says

    North Carolina is in the 4th Circuit of the Courts of Appeals. With the decision of the 4th Circuit Court on Virginia’s same sex marriage case, North Carolina is on track to have their recently passed anti-gay same sex marriage amendment declared unconstitutional by the same decision. It does not matter what this homophobe believes or does. Marriage equality will become the law of the land. This person is simply making sure that his restaurant carries a bad name on internet sites from now to forever.

  20. Ozu says

    The owner actually seems pretty tolerant for a Southerner. It’s not like he actually try to kill these people for God’s sake. Give the guy a break.

  21. BrokebackBob says

    “I just don’t approve of black/hispanic/asian/middle-eastern/jewish people and I won’t do anything to support them.” “It’s just a business decision.” Burn his restaurants.

  22. Bernie says

    So, here is my take: When the pizza business starts taking a nose dive, Mr. Rogers will blame………the gays! And, then when he has to go out of business for making a “poor business” decision, the gays will be blamed!

  23. Bill says

    Given PFLAG’s purpose, I wonder if this business has the nerve to call itself “family friendly.”

    “We help keep families together*”

    *May not apply in some cases, particularly if any family members are gay, unless, of course state law would result in us having to pay a major fine.

  24. Kenny C says

    So they need to tell EVERYONE THAT WILL LISTEN about his “beliefs” It will me a much faster and will hurt his bottom line.

  25. Cocoamonk says

    Hey, Gaston millennial native here- born and raised in this town. Without hesitation I can admit I have never heard of this place until now, however, I’m most certainly not inclined to try it now.

    Aside from that, not much to add. Bad business decision if it actually was one, terrible cover story if it was not. I would not be surprised if it does shut down, seeing plenty of places not drowning in public scandals going under around here.

    The tipping point if it does? Alienating the consumer base. Who is the foundation of a pizzeria clientele? Basically the 15-25 year olds. Never before have we seen a more LGBT friendly generation. Calling it now.