Gay Activists Claim a Teenager Was th...

Gay Activists Claim a Teenager Was the Victim of a Hate Crime in a Middletown Coffeeshop

There are 10 comments on the Hartford Advocate story from Feb 7, 2011, titled Gay Activists Claim a Teenager Was the Victim of a Hate Crime in a Middletown Coffeeshop. In it, Hartford Advocate reports that:

But was it a hate crime? Protesters outside of Javapalooza in Middletown. When the owner of the Javapalooza coffeeshop in Middletown ejected 18-year-old Spencer Deane from his store in late December - while hurling homophobic slurs and allegedly using physical force - the response from local activists was decisive.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Advocate.

Cockroach_Sleepe r

Omaha, NE

#1 Feb 8, 2011
Is this our rosa parks moment?

I know gays on topix will dismiss and attack me, and my enemies will attack and ignore me, but where does this fight end? We, tax-paying u.s. citizens need to decide.

Cockroach = Christian = Terrorist
Terrorist = Christian = Cockroach
SPEEDIEG

Atlanta, GA

#2 Feb 8, 2011
No this is not our Rosa Parks moment. We as a community won't have one, because it is too easy for many of us just to hide our sexuality and enjoy life. I am the only one of many GLBT people at work who is out and I pay a heavy price in terms of the projects I get and the rewards I receive. Gays do not stand together, we are always divided. Until we can unite we will never be free.
Disgusted American

Philadelphia, PA

#3 Feb 8, 2011
its because LGBT people come from ALL walks fo Life, in every color,environment etc etc etc......the ONLY thing we have in common is being attracted to the same sex..period. Its hard enough to get all blk people to agree on something...or any other minority...let alone Millions of people from all races / who just happen to be LGBT....... tho, I honestly think OUR Rose Parks moment is "coming", its not far off ...and we'll Know it when it does.
tiqueboy

Grand Rapids, MI

#4 Feb 8, 2011
While physical force is inexcusable so is the verbal taunts.....However....if they have a no outside food or beverage policy, the guy knew this and chose to taunt the shop owner by violating the policy. As a gay business owner, I would never advocate violence or verbal assaults but the guy is in business to make money. It is his support for his family and he has every right to ASK someone to leave if they violate his policies but touching a patron or inflicting verbal abuse is not acceptable. Call the police, that is what tax payer money is for!!!!!

“Together for 24, legal for 5”

Since: Sep 07

Littleton, NH

#5 Feb 8, 2011
Rosa Parks paid the same fare for her ride on the bus as all the other passengers. But she was denied the same seating privileges as others. Mr. Deane was not a paying customer and therefore had no right to be in Javapalooza. He was ejected for not belonging there, not because he was gay.

I think it's rather rude to use a competitor's products in another store, but he was sitting with friends who had purchased goods there. So I don't think the owner showed good business sense in making an issue. But ejecting a non-paying customer is not a crime.

Despite the owner's cluelessness, he did exhibit hate speech, and the gay community should boycott his store. But hate speech is not a crime: It's only a hate crime when another crime has been committed.

I'm sure there are other coffee shops nearby whose coffee is at least as good as Javapalooza. The community should take their custom there and let Javapalooza know why. But screaming "hate crime" when no crime has been committed merely plays into the hands of those who portray us as whiney, oversensitive, litigious, and intolerant.
Frank Stanton

New York, NY

#6 Feb 8, 2011
Cockroach_Sleeper wrote:
Is this our rosa parks moment?
I know gays on topix will dismiss and attack me, and my enemies will attack and ignore me, but where does this fight end? We, tax-paying u.s. citizens need to decide.
Cockroach = Christian = Terrorist
Terrorist = Christian = Cockroach
You're NUTS.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Louis, MO

#7 Feb 8, 2011
Frank Stanton wrote:
<quoted text>
You're NUTS.
you're one to talk.
SLIF

Toronto, Canada

#8 Feb 8, 2011
Why would this 18 year old kid come into his store with food that he had bought elsewhere?The owner had already told him not to before.

“Reality is better than truth.”

Since: Nov 09

Indianapolis

#9 Feb 8, 2011
Unless the business has a posted policy of allowing only paying customers to be there, there is no legal basis for tossing someone for not buying the product. If you have a party of 5 and one isn't hungry, you can't toss them out. It's also extremely stupid to alienate the 4 who are/were buying something--they won't be back. Food establishments rely mostly on repeat business. This shopkeeper is an idiot AND a homophobe. Now he's got people who definitely aren't coming back, who will persuade others not to come back, and will likely endure a boycott by gays over this--something a high-end coffee shop can't really afford.

There was a crime--assault. He had no right to put his hands on the kid. The kid wasn't causing any problems and was with people who were buying from the shop.
nhjeff wrote:
Rosa Parks paid the same fare for her ride on the bus as all the other passengers. But she was denied the same seating privileges as others. Mr. Deane was not a paying customer and therefore had no right to be in Javapalooza. He was ejected for not belonging there, not because he was gay.
I think it's rather rude to use a competitor's products in another store, but he was sitting with friends who had purchased goods there. So I don't think the owner showed good business sense in making an issue. But ejecting a non-paying customer is not a crime.
Despite the owner's cluelessness, he did exhibit hate speech, and the gay community should boycott his store. But hate speech is not a crime: It's only a hate crime when another crime has been committed.
I'm sure there are other coffee shops nearby whose coffee is at least as good as Javapalooza. The community should take their custom there and let Javapalooza know why. But screaming "hate crime" when no crime has been committed merely plays into the hands of those who portray us as whiney, oversensitive, litigious, and intolerant.

“Reality is better than truth.”

Since: Nov 09

Indianapolis

#10 Feb 8, 2011
It's quite possible he was going to finish that coffee and then order another from the shop. He also was obviously there to enjoy the company of his friends. It's just not that big a deal, and the owner over-reacted idiotically.
SLIF wrote:
Why would this 18 year old kid come into his store with food that he had bought elsewhere?The owner had already told him not to before.

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