Stacey Campfield, the Tennessee Senator who authored the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, was ousted from a popular Knoxville restaurant Sunday evening by the restaurant’s owner and manager, Martha Boggs.
Facebook followers of the popular Bistro at the Bijou on Gay Street were among the first to hear the news outside of the restaurant, after Boggs posted: “I hope that Stacey Campfield now knows what it feels like to be discriminated against.”
Eyewitnesses say that Boggs called Campfield a “homophobe” along with other less-friendly words. She told the Knoxville News-Sentinel that she was particularly disgusted with Campfield’s recent remarks about AIDS in a radio interview.
Campfield is standing by his statements in the interview, during which he said that AIDS originated from a man having sex with a monkey, and that “It is virtually … impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex.”
Boggs thinks he’s gone too far: "He's gone from being stupid to dangerous," she told the Sentinel. She adds, “It’s just my way of standing up to a bully.”
Customers visiting the Bistro today were welcomed by a sign reading: "Today's Special: Fried Chicken. Crispy Chicken Livers + No Stacey."
The local response to Boggs’ actions are keeping her Facebook page busy, with hundreds of comments expressing solidarity and vowing to patronize the Bistro even more. Several encouraging responses are rolling in from around the country as well.
As for Campfield, he reportedly left quietly, and is said to have eaten at Latitude 35 instead.