The ACLU reports that it is representing two customers in filing an official complaint with the city of Louisville against a local McDonalds for anti-gay slurs hurled by workers at the patrons of the fast-food joint .

Ryan Marlatt, Teddy Eggers, and three other friends had stopped for lunch at a McDonald’s restaurant on East Market Street on July 26, 2008 while visiting Louisville for the weekend. While they waited for their food to be prepared, an employee behind the counter referred to them as “faggots” to another employee. Marlatt and Eggers then approached the cashier, said they didn’t come to the restaurant to be insulted, and asked to speak with a manager. As they waited for the supervisor on duty to appear, the employee who had called them “faggots” started arguing with them, repeatedly calling them “faggots” in front of other customers and calling one of them a “cocksucker” and “bitch.”

“Nobody should be treated the way my friends and I were at that McDonald’s,” said Eggers of Indianapolis, Indiana. “When we finally got to speak with a supervisor, she said she didn’t see what the big deal was. I couldn’t believe what was happening.”

The supervisor on duty refused to refund the group’s purchase, claiming that only the restaurant’s general manager could authorize a refund. Marlatt said he attempted several times in the following weeks to contact both the general manager of the McDonald’s and the corporate offices. But when he filed reports with a corporate customer service number for McDonald’s, Marlatt said, he never received any sort of response, and every time he called the McDonald’s where the incident took place the staff hung up on him.

“It may just be a few dollars for a Big Mac and some fries, but if I’m going to spend my hard earned money anywhere I should be able to do so without being verbally abused,” said Marlatt. “The original name-calling was bad enough, but the fact that McDonald’s refuses to do anything to make this right just adds injury to the insult.”

The two patrons simply want an apology and a refund. Certainly the nationally gay-friendly Golden Arches doesn’t need bad PR because of the bigots at one location in Kentucky.

The full complaint is here.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding