poets cafe montville
News, Queensland

Lesbian interracial couple thrown out of Sunshine Coast café

A Queensland lesbian couple say they were thrown out of a café last weekend by an owner who was seemingly homophobic, racist, or both.

The two women, whose names have been suppressed for privacy, visited Poets Café in Montville, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, seeking a potential venue for their wedding.

Both healthcare workers, the interracial couple said that the café owner became visibly angry as they held hands waiting to order coffee, QNews has reported.

After finally receiving their coffee orders, they tried four times to order food.

“We ordered coffee, took a menu, sat at a table, and caught up on [hospital] paperwork,” said one of the women.

“We told four different waitstaff we wished to order food after our coffee,” said the other.

They were then allegedly given the bill and told by the owner, “I want you to just finish up and leave!”

The women refused to pay for the service they had received and asked to speak to the owner, who they said declined to see them but told them never to return.

Multiple reviews of the café on social media and travel sites suggest that the “rude”, “dreadful” owner has a history of alienating guests.

The two women said they will pursue action against the man through the Queensland Human Rights Commission under the Anti-Discrimination Act.

The Act forbids discrimination based on race and sexuality, among other characteristics.

However, the controversial religious discrimination bill, if passed, would grant federal-level protection to such discrimination if based on religion.

Shelley Argent, Sunshine Coast LGBTIQ activist and national spokesperson for PFLAG, said she was shocked by the attitude of the café owner.

“I am amazed at this time when businesses are struggling for custom that any business owner would prove so small-minded that he would turn customers away because he is either homophobic or racist, [or] worse still, both,” Argent said.

“It’s time that business owners learnt that it is no longer acceptable to treat people in this manner.

“I congratulate the two women for standing up and saying ‘enough is enough’.

“Their rights need to be recognised and respected the same as any other customer just wanting a coffee and some lunch.”

Poets Café has been contacted for comment.

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