Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 04/7/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
Our commenters were quick to dish out their opinions after the story broke about two gay men shutting down their restaurant in Morris because of homophobic taunts.
This is a prime example of why I as a gay male will never live in anything other than a large city. Small-town homophobia is rampant across this so-called tolerant nation.
Without doubt, we all face bigotry and intolerance at times but we are driven to overcome it by pursuing our dreams. No one's comments can take them away unless we let them. Businesses succeed because of the decisions of the owners. Perhaps Morris was not the place. You must decide if you were there to be accepted for your sexual orientation or to run a successful business? Remember, all the Chinese restaurants that sprang up in small Western Canadian towns were started by families working on the Canadian Pacific Railway. They were hated and experienced terrible bigotry and yet they stayed and became a part of the fabric of our nation. They are a great example to follow.
-- Uncle Si
As someone who grew up there, I am so saddened by this. I do not live there anymore but I want everyone to know that the hatred is only is a small group of people and does NOT reflect on everyone out there. The unfortunate thing with Morris is that in a town that is less than 1,800 people, a lot of residents do not stand up and say anything for fear of getting shunned themselves. Morris is not a hick town (as some are calling it) but there are some individuals who require education in area of acceptance.
I grew up in a small town (not Morris) and yes if people don't accept you, it's a miserable place to be because everybody knows everybody. People from my home town gossip a lot and it's damaging to those that aren't accepted. There's a reason why I don't live there anymore.
It is sad and slightly scary that there are still people out there that are lacking in intelligence and class. This intolerant group of individuals were unable to figure out that they had a choice whether to visit this restaurant. It also appears that they did not have loving, intelligent parents who would have taught them that if they don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Hopefully they have chosen not to pass their poor genetics on to any offspring. I feel sorry that they have to walk around in life with the burden of hatred on their shoulders.
I truly hope that the owners reconsider leaving Morris. As horrible as what they're dealing with is, letting the bullies "win" would be worse! I wish I could give them the strength they need to stick it out and overcome the rough roads ahead. Regardless, I hope they are successful whatever they decide.
I find it interesting that some have said this couple somehow failed to adequately gauge the level of homophobic in the town, therefore it's their fault for opening in the first place. I wish they would come forward and discuss the kinds of discrimination they've been subjected to. We gays are pretty thick skinned as most of us have had to deal with this type of treatment our whole lives. Whatever it was it must have been pretty intimidating for them to shut down and pick up sticks.
-- Gigi Suvari
I think there are a number of points here. First, no one should be driven out of town just because you don't like them; you are free to patronize who you like but that is the limit of the right of a bigot. Second, it is wrong to stigmatize all of Morris or rural Manitoba because of the attitudes of a few. Three, this issue has been stirred up as much by Nancy Allan and her school crusade as by anyone else. Sometimes it is best to just let things move forward on their own once the tide has turned in your direction.
-- Old Flin Flon
My heart goes out to these guys. My partner and I own a restaurant in Seddons Corner and it's been hell on us at times! You can only take so much! We are going on six years here and we have really good customers and friends. It's just loudmouth rednecks that tend to really spoil it.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 7, 2013 A10
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