'That’s not us.' - Bronx restaurant accused of discriminating against gay couple issues apology
A restaurant in the Bronx is apologizing after they were accused of discriminating against a gay couple last week.
"We don’t condone what happened in this restaurant, we’ve been here like I said for 15 years, we have never had a problem in this community,” said Elizabeth Ocasio, manager at La Isla Cuchifrito.
Nelson Ayala and Jamel Brown Jr. are a married gay couple who say they went into the restaurant last week and derogatory comments were made about their sexuality. They say they were told to leave.
The employee involved in the incident was fired over the weekend.
"This one employee we didn’t know her behavior, we didn’t know that she'd act this way, as soon as we found out what happened, we terminated her,” said Ocasio.
Ocasio says she condemns what was said to the couple but says they weren’t thrown out because of their sexuality but because tensions were escalating.
The couple held a rally outside the restaurant on Sunday and declined a free meal offer that came along with the owner’s apology.
“What is a free meal going to do? We are not hungry. We want them to know that they just have to train their employees more. Have them treat people with respect just like they would want to be treated with respect behind the counter,” said Brown Jr.
Ocasio tells News 12 they are very kind to everyone, and that the community should feel safe coming into the restaurant.
"I apologize to anyone that felt offended, that felt any kind of way ... that’s not us, it was only one person, one employee and she’s not here no more,” said Ocasio.
Ocasio says her husband apologized to the couple this weekend and she is inviting the couple to come back so that she can have the opportunity to apologize to them as well.