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Homophobia alive and well in Manitoba :(


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This is completely appalling:

Homophobia forcing gay owners of Manitoba restaurant out of business | CTV News

MORRIS, Man. -- When Dave Claringbould and his partner opened a restaurant in rural Manitoba, they knew some people might have a problem with them being gay.

But they didn't expect to face blatant ignorance and insults.

"We were asked if somebody was going to catch something off of the plate because we had prepared the food on it," Claringbould recalled Tuesday.

He said his partner calmly dealt with the customer and told the man he would be OK.

"We were very hurt and upset by it. Some of the narrow-minded things that have been said to us are absolutely shocking."

Claringbould said homophobia is forcing them to shut the doors of their Pots N Hands restaurant in the town of Morris, about 70 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

Supportive emails and phone calls have poured in from across the country and many people in town have asked the couple to keep the eatery open. But Claringbould said he plans to serve his last meal there April 13 -- just four months after the restaurant opened.

The 35-year-old chef, originally from the United Kingdom, has worked in the restaurant business for 15 years. After cooking in kitchens in British Columbia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, he settled in Manitoba.

He and his partner, who does not want to be identified, lived in Winnipeg before they bought a rural property near Morris. Claringbould taught a cooking class in town, then decided to pursue his dream of running his own restaurant.

The pair opened Pots N Hands in December, serving dishes such as baked potatoes stuffed with chicken curry, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

Claringbould said he and his partner didn't hide their relationship but didn't flaunt it either. In February, he said a group of regular customers found out they were gay and stopped coming. Others verbally attacked the couple in the restaurant and around town.

Most people in the community of 1,700 are not homophobic and have been welcoming, said Claringbould. But the others make it difficult to run a business and live there happily.

Claringbould said he and his partner previously faced homophobia when they lived in another community, which he wouldn't name. The couple stuck it out for awhile but people just wouldn't change their attitudes.

"We're not prepared to go through that again."

George Ifantis, who runs George's Burgers & Subs in town, said he has nothing against the Pots N Hands owners, but understands that some customers might be uncomfortable with the men's sexuality.

"A lot of people don't like it," said Ifantis. "You don't know what they're doing in the kitchen."

The Winnipeg Free Press also spoke with an older couple and a young man in Morris who said they didn't like that the restaurant owners are gay.

"They should get the hell out of here," the newspaper quoted one man as saying. "I don't really like them, the service and who they are."

One longtime resident, who asked not to be named, said she is disgusted and embarrassed by the prejudice.

"There's a couple of village-idiot rednecks, young fellas that when they grow up they'll understand how their vicious tongues can hurt people."

She said the restaurant serves fabulous food and some people even drive down from Winnipeg to eat there. "We wish they would stay and not be bullied out of here."

President of the Morris Chamber of Commerce, Pat Schmitke, said he's hurt and disappointed.

"It's so unfortunate, because it's not what our little town is about. It's certainly, absolutely not what the majority of people's feelings are in this town."

Schmitke said it's the second time this year the community has been in the spotlight for bigotry allegations.

The town's community newspaper published editorial comments in January calling aboriginals corrupt and lazy. The Morris Mirror went out of business in March.
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I think a gay resident of Winnipeg had his house vandalized very recently too - wouldn't draw too many conclusions about Manitoba, rural Ontario is just the same IMO... Winnipeg is a pretty dynamic town as it is the Biggest Deal in the region for many miles in all directions, and its got two universities and a big (and growing) immigrant population...
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M'eh. In other News, there've been massive protests in France against Gay Marriage, etc. I mean, c'mon Gay Paris?! At least half their classical artistic legacies as found in the Louvre was made by Fags.
Don't get that.
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M'eh. In other News, there've been massive protests in France against Gay Marriage, etc. I mean, c'mon Gay Paris?! At least half their classical artistic legacies as found in the Louvre was made by Fags.
Don't get that.

Agree 100%. I was there when that was happening; for the most part much older, staunch catholics. They're apparently ok with civil union but not with marriage or adoption. And yes it's idiotic.

Praktik the resto thing was not in Winnipeg; the notion that you are actually pretty well pushed to shut down your business because of that is really appalling to me.


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Nope I know, but Winnipeg is Manitoba - but I think the rural thing holds... Its a rural problem across Canada and not just in Manitoba...

Wanted to link to the Winnipeg case anyway and just take a moment to defend a city I visit once every few years and feel gets a bad rap..;)


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My lady and I have talked about doing a pride parade in this town for a few years now...though the threat of violence is pretty real. We're both straight, but the awareness and celebrating sexuality and openness is really something we dig.

It's just redneck country in Sask(they would put any Manitobanian or Albertanos to shame, I'm sure.) I mean shiet...dressing in blackface is a "funny" costume to people out here.

I get called a fag out of unrolled windows on the reg...

It's just such a strange, backwards place. We have a special kind of redneck here.
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Appalling? Yes.

Unexpected? Sadly, no.

Agreed, while it's wrong and very unfortunate, I question why they picked this town to set up shop. The article makes mention to them confronting this type of opposition before in another small town so they must have had some reservations about opening up shop in another rural community.

Sadly while I wish they didn't have to make these considerations the reality is there are some places that they would have trouble fitting in and this seems to be one of them. Hopefully the city and police help sort this mess out and try to save some face in the community


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It's just redneck country in Sask(they would put any Manitobanian or Albertanos to shame, I'm sure.) here.

They still listen to ACDC's "Back in Black" and Pink Floyd's "The Wall" 24/7?

Hey, I remember when I was a wee kid that peeps there thought Robert Plant (Led Zep) was a big fag.

Sal De Ban

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even rural ontario is brutal and rife with this ignorance. i can only imagine rural manitoba... were they completely surprised by the local reaction?
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In Ontario, aside from pockets of gayness like Kinmount, tolerance of 'new ideas' like homosexuality is rare outside the GTA. Heck it's a clear shot west of Burlington all the way out to Vancouver before you could truly say there's a culture of openness. It's Harper country, remember. East of the GTA, Ottawa is very gay and Montreal obviously but otherwise, aside from some of the more colourful outports on the Rock, Canada is pretty intolerant - "glory hole" is a mining term and men dress in leathers and western gear without a hint of irony.


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I suspect there is more to the story.

Perhaps something as simple as, hey, it's hard to run a restaurant business anywhere, let alone rural Manitoba.

Blame it on the homophobia? Sure, sounds easy. More likely could just be that rural farmers and hick towners don't go out much. That's why they live in the sticks. To stay home, drink beer, and beat their wives. Beat them in a Christian way.