Update: Protest hits snag: Pastor backed by [some in] gay community

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National Post Staff  Oct 25, 2011 – 7:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Oct 24, 2011 11:44 PM ET
By Tamsin McMahon
A small-town Pentecostal pastor has formed an unlikely alliance with members of the gay and transgendered community who say he is being harassed and threatened by social activists who have staged a massive protest, after he complained to a coffee shop manager that a couple he thought was a young boy and girl, but turned out to be two women, were making out in front of his children.

According to Canada’s National Post: “A small-town Pentecostal pastor has formed an unlikely alliance with members of the gay and transgendered community who say he is being harassed and threatened by social activists who have staged a massive protest, after he complained to a coffee shop manager that a couple he thought was a young boy and girl, but turned out to be two women, were making out in front of his children.”

Original story:

TimHortons Occupy Timmies: Coffeehouse Again Under Fire over LGBT Relations

Canada-based coffeehouse chain Tim Hortons is again facing criticism of its franchise practices, after a rural Ontario store threatened to call the police on a lesbian couple who were drinking coffee, cuddling, and occasionally kissing at the store three weeks ago.

According to the London Free Press:

Rev. Eric Revie, an assistant pastor at Glad Tidings Community Church in Blenheim (Ont.), said he had complained to the manager about the “sexual activities of a couple that he thought were male and female. …

The chain later issued a statement saying sexual orientation had nothing to do with the manager asking the couple to leave.

“The guests’ behaviour went beyond public displays of affection and was making other guests feel uncomfortable,” said the e-mail statement sent to The London Free Press.

“The management has apologized to (the couple) and invited them back to their restaurant. We apologize if (they) were offended by the misunderstanding that occurred at our Blenheim restaurant last month on behalf of the owners and management. It was not the manager’s intention to offend or target anyone based on their sexual orientation.”

In August 2009, Providence Daily Dose broke the news that the coffee chain’s Southern New England division (since disbanded) was sponsoring a Rhode Island antigay picnic and fund-raiser on behalf of the National Organization for Marriage. Truth Wins Out and Change.org quickly spread the word; 100 people protested the picnic; and thousands of Change.org petition signatures prompted Tim Hortons and a caterer, Blount Fine Foods, to withdraw sponsorship of the NOM event.

Most local Tim Hortons stores are owned by independent franchisees, however, Tim Hortons’ Standards of Business Practices require that local franchise owners and managers maintain the company’s ethical standards. That didn’t happen in 2009, and whether that happened in Blenheim depends upon one’s definition of acceptable public affection.

A protest, Occupy Timmies, is planned for this Thursday at Tim Hortons stores across North America.

Hat tip: The New Civil Rights Movement