McDonald's Eats a Super-Sized Order of its Own Words in Kentucky

Nine months after an employee at a McDonald's restaurant in downtown Louisville called a group of gay customers a series of anti-gay slurs – and after the ACLU intervened on the victims' behalf – we're happy to announce today that McDonald's has agreed to a cash settlement and diversity training for management at 30 of its Louisville-area restaurants.

Ryan Marlatt, Teddy Eggers, and three other friends had stopped for lunch at a McDonald's restaurant on East Market Street last July while visiting Louisville for the weekend. While they waited for their food to be prepared, an employee behind the counter referred to them as "faggots" to another employee. When Marlatt and Eggers objected to the slur and asked to speak with a manager, the employee who had called them "faggots" started arguing with them, repeatedly calling them "faggots" in front of other customers and calling one of them a "cocksucker" and "bitch." Here's a video of Ryan and Teddy telling the story of what happened to them:

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The supervisor on duty refused to refund the group's purchase, and after Ryan attempted several times in the following weeks to contact both the general manager of the McDonald's and the corporate offices with no results, he called the ACLU. We filed a complaint with the Louisville Human Relations Commission. With the public and the commission's eyes on them, McDonald's finally backed down, agreeing to school its managers on Louisville's anti-discrimination law and offering Ryan and Teddy $2,000 each, which they accepted. Originally, Ryan and Teddy had only asked for $28, the cost of the meals they and their friends bought on the day they were verbally abused. Would have been much cheaper and easier for them to just apologize and maybe tell their staff not to call paying customers "faggots," don't you think?

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"You call a customer a name, you're fired, on the spot... and that completes your diversity training. Any questions? No? Okay, now get back to work."

It'll take a much harder life lesson to change the mind of a bigot; a one hour training program at McDonald's certainly won't do it. Then some might say, it's the thought that counts.


I did not realize that being called hurtful names by some burger-flipping loser was a serious civil liberties matter, but what do I know? My sexual orientation is a mental illness according to the American Civil Liberties Union, and I have no civil liberties, so I suppose I am not qualified to judge the seriousness of this issue.



Givemeabreak...I see your point. I have taken several corporate and collegiate diversity training classes. The less open your mind, the harder it is to grow. On the other hand, an hour here, a job loss there, might help.

PedohaX...The issue goes beyond being called names by an employee. By failing to act, the restaurant owner and the franchise corporation gave their approval to this behavior.

If your screen name is an indication of what you claim to be your preference, acting on your preference is wrong because the other person cannot consent.


Roald, I recall a certain teacher out of Colorado who mocked one of his students because of his Christian beliefs. Should he go through sensitivity training? Just a thought. (BTW, I owe you a response from that other thread)


Pedohax, don't worry, homosexuality was considered a mental illness in the late sixties, now it is "normal" behavior. I'm sure the perverts in the ACLU are working in the bowels of their offices to grant you this "right". Whether the victim likes it or not.


Actualy Steve the real mental illness is bigotry.


And maybe they were kids being kids. Still does not make it right but no one mentioned how old they were. I believe if the manager was an adult he/she should have known better.


Steve...can you give me more information about what happened in CO so I can research before I answer? are correct and the corporate people contacted certainly were adults.


I'm sorry you feel that I'm a "bigot" simply because of my views on homosexuality. If being gay is natual, then God owes a public apology to Sodom and Gommorah. Roald, I saw that story on the Fox News website, and also on the O'reilly factor. I may be mistaken about the state in which it took place.


Steve, being gay is natural. Just ask your gay friends. Or maybe you need some gay friends. Homosexual experiences abound in the natural world, most famously with dolphins.

God owes the public an apology for most of the Old Testament. Be sure to lay off the shellfish and pork!


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