Tell Restaurant Owner To Stop Harassing Gay Patrons

Target: Residents of New Bern, North Carolina

Goal: Boycott the Stingray Café until owner Ed McGovern agrees to stop harassing gay couples who dine there

When Ariel and Shawnee McPhail recently went out to eat at the Stingray Café in New Bern, North Carolina, they weren’t expecting their dinner to end in a political struggle. But as the couple was leaving the restaurant, owner Ed McGovern quietly handed them a letter. It contained a slew of hateful language condemning the couple for their relationship and urging them to turn to God. The McPhails, who had already paid for their meal, had unknowingly given their business to an establishment that discriminated against their very identities.

The letter described the lesbian couple’s commitment as “unnatural affection” and urged: “look at your life. See how it hurt[s] everyone around you. And ask the Lord to open your eye[s] before it [is] to[o] late.” McGovern also made reference to his gay daughter, claiming that her sexuality “destroyed her life.” Such hateful statements are entirely inappropriate for a business owner to direct at anyone, let alone his own customers. McGovern later confirmed his actions to the media and stated that he had delivered similar letters to other gay customers in the past.

The Stingray Café cannot be allowed to discriminate against its gay patrons any longer. Urge the community of New Bern to come together and condemn McGovern and his business. Sign the petition below to call for a boycott of the restaurant until the owner agrees to stop harassing his customers.


Dear residents of New Bern,

No members of your community should have to face discrimination and harassment at local businesses. Yet the owner of the Stingray Café has been unabashedly targeting gay couples who dine at his restaurant. After letting them pay for their meal, Ed McGovern hands letters to gay patrons as they leave in which he condemns their sexuality and urges them to stop “destroying” their lives.

This hate is what destroys lives, not committed relationships between two people who love each other. Ed McGovern may stand by his beliefs, but the people of New Bern should know better. I urge you to stand up for the members of the LGBTQ community around you and boycott any business where gay and lesbian couples are made to feel unwelcome. Take a stand against hate by pledging not to patronize the Stingray Café until Ed McGovern apologizes for his hateful actions.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Tim via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Robert Ortiz says:

    The owner shouldn’t treat his ptrons that way and if he is anti-gay then he should make that clear so that people can choose if they want to patronize his business or not, but to take people’s money and then give them sanctimonious sermons is really inappropriate and uncalled for. As far as his daughter goes, who’s to say that being gay destroyed her life? Maybe it was other factors in her life or the bigotry and discrimination she probably faced in society from individuals that share her father’s viewpoints.

  2. Just curious as to how it was harassment and discrimination if like you said he “quietly” handed them a letter. I believe everyone should accept everyone and agree that not everyone thinks the same. Boycotting a restaurant because someone has a difference of opinion is sad. He didn’t ask them to leave or pester them with questions….he has a right to his bleeds just like everyone else does. Just a thought.

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