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El Coyote Update

Timothy Kincaid

November 11th, 2008

The consequences of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ decision to enter the political arena and seek secular enforcement of their religious doctrines can be measured in part by the chaos and turmoil caused in the lives and livelihoods of their own members.

We know of families who have been torn apart by Mormon theology on human sexuality. We know of suicides and depression. We know of estranged children and miserable holidays. But we respect the rights of churches to select their own articles of faith – even those that bring unhappiness on those adherants who are gay.

But when the Mormon Church decided to spread outside of its own fold, the tragedy expanded to neighbors and employees and friends and customers. No longer can hurt and difficulty be excused as a matter of private faith; now we see and condemn the public policy efforts that have left a trail of victims in their wake.

And not all victims of this agressive effort are gay, some are faithful members of the church that have been caught in the crossfire.

One example of such is Marjorie Chrisoffersen, the family manager of El Coyote Restaurant. Word of her contribution of $100 to the Yes on 8 Campaign has flown by email throughout Los Angeles’ gay community. And with this community – and its friends and allies – as her best customers, this has the potential to severely hinder her business.

Today Margie released a message:

I have been sick at heart that anyone has been offended by me. I have family, friends, employees from the gay community who are treasured people in my life.

I have been a member of the Mormon church all my life. I responded to their request with my personal donation.

For years the El Coyote has financially and generously supported the gay community and its charities.
Please be my guest for an early lunch Wed., Nov. 12th, @ 11:00 am and allow me to personally speak with you.

Please call and make a reservation as seating is limited. (323) 939-2255.
Margie

I don’t believe that Margie acted out of ill intentions. I suspect that she was just obedient to a call put out by her church leadership, a leadership that I believe gave no care or concern to the sacrifice that they had requested of those members with gay friends, families, and customers.

But I may be wrong. She may feel that the profits made from catering to our community can then be spent on civil harm towards us – as long as the motivation is religious.

I have made my reservation for tomorrow. I want to hear whether Margie believes that giving to a charity excuses taking away a basic right. I want to hear whether she will provide statements of justification or a request for forgiveness.

UPDATE

From JazzyJeff63’s Flickr site

11/10/2008 – I had dinner at El Coyote tonight. When Marj finished having dinner with her family, I called her over to my table and asked “What was your position on Prop 8?”, She replied with “I love you guys, I would never do anything to hurt you, I wish I hadn’t done it”.

She was sincerely regretful, I could feel her hurt as she probably felt mine.

But from Eater:

“El Coyote is known for being a melting pot, we love and tolerate everyone. This has nothing to do with the restaurant. I donated through my church. We would never tell our employees they couldn’t contribute to political organizations—as individuals, they do and support whatever they want. El Coyote has donated thousands of dollars to the gay community through charitable organizations. As a rule, we don’t do politics. We have too many varying opinions here, and that’s the staff’s right.”

While the former sounds a bit like, “I’m sorry”, this statement sounds like justification. It’s the age old plea that “my personal actions should not have any impact on my business” and “I’m separate from my restaurant, so just ignore that the profits come to me”.

I do not in any way challenge Marjorie Cristoffersen’s right to contribute to whomever she wishes. But she will not use profits made from my dollar to take away my rights.

And frankly, I’m not all that interested in being “tolerated” at the moment.

So I’m quite interested in hearing what Margie will have to say tomorrow.

There are now over 4,000 google hits for “el coyote” prop 8.

For an update to this story, see: El Coyote: An Uncompromising Faith

Comments

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Tina-cious.com
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

If it’s any consolation — my mother would slit her own wrists if the mormon church told her to.

Pender
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

This is unbelievable. Is there such a thing as accountability, or isn’t there?

I don’t even have the words to express the disgust I feel toward this waffling. Let’s run through it:

1) We lost a fundamental human right.
2) We lost it LESS THAN ONE WEEK AGO.
3) This woman not only voted to take our rights away from us, but she contributed her own hard-earned money to do so.
4) You are the leader of one of the most influential websites dedicated to defending those rights.
4) But, on the other hand, her restaurant is SOOO CUTE, and, aww, you really like it!

What the fuck. I’m sorry for the inflammatory language, but you’ve become a caricature of the “dumb faggot” stereotype. In the Jim Crow era, minstrel shows would mock black people who would trip over themselves to flatter their oppressors. You’re becoming exactly that.

I am so completely incensed. Do you UNDERSTAND that a boycott doesn’t just apply to places you weren’t going to go anyway? That it’s only effective if people follow through even when they’d rather not?

So next time the LDS Church goes on a campaign to strip us of rights, undermine our families, and deny us basic legal protections, and they call on someone whose entire livelihood comes from gay clientele, she can think to herself “no problem, I’ll just have a heartfelt sob session with the dumb faggots afterwards; they’ll come come crawling back six days later.”

Self-defeating. Hypocritical. Fucking disgusting.

Louie
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Tim, go ahead and hear her out. But, be prepared for being put in your place as a sinner and that Margie actually loves you and wants to save your soul.

That’s why she voted “yes” on Prop. 8 and that’s why she donated money to “yes on prop. 8″.

Whether she is contrite or not. The damage is done. The votes have been cast and our right to a “CIVIL” marriage has been eliminated thanks to Margie and her monetary donation.

Job well done, Margie!

You got what you wanted. Gays can no longer legally marry in the State of California.

Now, we will get what we want. Justice by showing your clients and potential clients what their patronage is going to purchase.

If I weren’t STILL unemployed and deeply in debt, I would be picketing there with you in front of El Coyote, at least for a couple of days!

werdna
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

While I’m all for boycotts, protests or other actions against people who’ve worked to hurt us, if we don’t allow people to change their minds or grow in their understanding, what’s the point? I’m eager to hear your report, Timothy.

Also, do we know any of the specifics of how El Coyote has “financially and generously supported the gay community and its charities”?

Marsha
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

As the saying goes… forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission.

It’s up to all you patrons to decide if it’s fine with you to go to a place that contributed to prop 8. IMO!, YOU (as in you all) supplied her the money to give to support prop 8. Now if she sold toilet paper or something that you just couldn’t get around buying, I guess there’d be a dilemma, but I can’t believe there aren’t 1000 other eateries that would love your business and support YOU. So this is not exactly a deep moral dilemma. I have to admit, your quandary borders sounding like “gosh massa, whatever YOU think is right, massa, here’s some more money…”. But then again, maybe *you* are still not decided on this marriage issue(?… not saying, just wondering out loud)

Ignorance is not an excuse… there were plenty of Mormons who realized how bad prop 8 was(is). At any point she could have asked her employees what this “Prop 8 thing” was all about… from the way it sounds she is pleading ignorance, just obeyed her church, sorry ’bout that.

Don’t wash with me but I’ll wait for your report. Does she truly want to learn and change? or just give an apology and “be friends” again… ’til the next time her church asks for money.

Ken R
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy,

If you feel you cannot return to El Coyote there is always Casita Del Campo in Silver Lake. Their food is pretty good. Or it used to be before I moved to Vegas almost ten years ago. :)

jOHN
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

A lesson learn is where she should file this!

If she is hurting financially then let her sell her restaurant to a gay owner who can’t get married because of her actions. And I mean her actions…whatever happened to free will? Is she deserving of making a living off of people that she has a lined against?

I think that if she sells it to a non-gay owner then the boycott should continue and the new owner should know this before they make the purchase. Do I believe she is truly sorry? Do I believe she would be sorry for her actions if this was not happening? Of course not! She is not hurting because of her gay customers…she is hurting because of her church that she chose to follow without concern for her customers!

Stefano A
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I’m curious to hear the report on what she has to say, but I imagine it will be some variant of…

“I have been sick at heart that anyone has been offended by me. I have family, friends, employees from the gay community who are treasured people in my life. I am not “anti-gay” but rather pro-marriage and do not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, or civil unions or domestic partnerships, I simply belief marriage should only be between a man and a woman.”

And if it is… Well! You know what? I don’t care if someone is for all of those things, or if they make a plea for “understanding” and respecting the religious belief because they want to hang onto my dollars while simultaneously telling me our relationships are “less than”. My respect for that religious belief only extends to the right to guide their own life by those beliefs, not to use it to strip the rights away from others. Even if she pleads she only donated money but voted “no”, or if Coyote contributed money for “other causes”. She still actively contributed to the campaign to strip away a right.

Timothy Kincaid
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Pender,

I believe in listening. If Margie comes to understand what she’s done, expresses sorrow, and asks for forgiveness, then I’m willing to give it. If she tries to justify her actions, she’ll not see another cent from me – or probably most of her customers.

As for your accusation that I’m considering the “cuteness” of the restaurant or that my motivations are selfish, you clearly don’t know me.

And calling me hypocritical, self-defeating, disgusting, and a charicature of the “dumb faggot” stereotype… well, I think it reflects more on the maturity of your thinking than it does on my behavior.

I’m not interested in screaming and stomping my heels. I’m interested in making a change. The purpose of boycott is not just to feel good about yourself; it’s to bring about a shift in action, a change in policy.

And if you can get over your self-congratulatory hissy fit, you are invited to join me in that cause. I promise you that changing a heart and mind is far more satisfying than going online and hurling insults.

And you don’t even have to pat yourself on the back afterwards or say, “well, I told her!!!”

Louie
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Think about Father Farrow! There he is, working in the “belly of the beast” as it seems and he speaks out AGAINST Prop. 8 in front of his parishoners!

Knowing full well that he risked his own job and life calling!

Yet, he stood up for what he believed was right.

Margie stood up for what she thought was right.

Now, BOTH must suffer the consequences of their actions.

And Margie will learn a valuable lesson in “unintended consequences”.

Stefano A
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

You know, also, this shouldn’t be about ‘her’, it’s about US. Can her gay employees and clientel trust her to not contribute tothe removal of our rights?’

She has to realise that homophobia has consequences. It makes them a bad friend or a bad classmate or a bad employer of gay employees.

It’s like when someone asks if you are gay. “Whatever the discussion, they always come back to ‘are you gay? Is he gay?’ ‘Is she gay?'”

We have to ask and remind them if they have made us feel safe enough to share that information with them. Have they earned that trust? Hopefully that means they move towards trying to win our trust. By contributing to Yes on 8 she has demonstrated a betrayal of that trust.

What I’ll be interested in now is what she’s going to do to try to win that trust back? I’m not sure what she could do since the money is spent and the vote was cast.

Stefano A
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I’d like to add…

WHEN she concretely demonstrates that she can be trusted, then and only then would I resume patronage of her business.

Rob Lll
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Pissed off and skeptical as I am, I think werdna is right. Let’s see where this goes. The damage is done but we all know people who have changed, repented their past actions, and done well by us later.

But accountability is key here too. A public apology, a promise not to do this again, and maybe a significant contribution to the Lambda Legal Defense Fund might be a good start. Excuses of the “I’m not anti-gay, but…” variety won’t do.

There was an article in the SF Chronicle a couple days ago about ordinary Prop 8 supporters whose general feeling after Tuesday was “Well, that’s settled now. No hard feelings, right?”, and were shocked to find out that some people A) didn’t consider the matter settled at all and B) had some very hard feelings indeed.

We lost this round and have a tough slog ahead. We need to pick our targets judiciously and not go overboard (boycotting a whole state sounds like a terrible idea). We need all the allies we can get, so forgiveness is a pragmatic consideration as well as a moral one.

But now is the time to send a clear message to our adversaries, to everyone: You do not fuck with us and walk away unscathed. You might win, but you will be hurt in the process.

Actions have consequences — in their lives as well as ours.

Patrick
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

“I didn’t mean to hurt you, I only wanted to take away your rights and forcibly dissolve your marriages – please don’t hold that against me. After all, I only treated you in ways I would never want to be treated myself. Why can’t you understand I did it out of love?” – That’s the argument I’ve been hearing from Christians and seems to fit here as well. From my experience these people have a very perverted understanding of love.

Regan DuCasse
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Well, I’m with Tim. I’ll listen to her, if she rationalizes..I’m so DONE with her and the restaurant.
If she’s willing to listen and admit she’s done something that was very hurtful and unnecessary, we’ll see.

I’ll tell you as I’ve told other people of faith:
It wasn’t the Bible that’s extended rights, not even for religious expression it was the Constitution.

And even now, the Bible was used to persuade, but forcibly used by amendment of the Constitution.

When the word of God has it’s own limits, turning to the Constitution was in itself a blatant contradiction of the most profound of faith teaching.

Let her ponder that.

I’ll see you tomorrow Tim. It’s been way too long brother.
Look for me limping or in a wheelchair. One or the other, I’m there.
11am.
See ya!

Snappyback
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Let’s make her statement a bit more accurate:

“I have been sick at heart that anyone has been offended by me. [Because who could have foreseen that anyone might be offended by my effort to make them second-class citizens?] I have family, friends, employees from the gay community who are treasured people in my life. [Just not so treasured that they deserve the same rights I do.]

“I have been a member of the Mormon church all my life. [Although many Mormons recognized the evil of Prop 8 and did not,] I responded to their request with my personal donation.

“For years the El Coyote has financially and generously supported the gay community and its charities. [Now I’m hoping that’s enough to buy some folks off.]”

Regan DuCasse
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

OOPS! Typos:

I meant to say, I’ll tell HER that it wasn’t the Bible that extended rights, but the Constitution and even NOW the Bible WASN’T used to persuade, but the force of the Constitution.

Stefano A
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Reply to a post in the now “locked” thread, as well as a reply to the calls “to talk with Marjie.”

Ephilei
November 11th, 2008 |

Much more effective than boycotting would talking to them. Ask for the manager and tell him how conflicted you’re feeling and leave without buying anything. Go ahead and make small talk to the service staff about it too.
I’d be comfortable with that. If you’re not buying anything it’s still a boycott. Small business people rely on the small dollar. That’s what makes up their business.

Stefano A
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Snappyback

“For years the El Coyote has financially and generously supported the gay community and its charities. [Now I’m hoping that’s enough to buy some folks off.]“

Yep! That’s pretty much my take on that as well.

homer
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Ask her to write a $200 check to support gay marriage.

kevin
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Can you put a price tag on civil rights? Even if she gave 1 penny to take away our civil rights, she might as well have given the full 30 million. It’s actions that matter. Beliefs that matter. If she didn’t depend on the LGBT community for business, then perhaps we could simply overlook it as yet another morally despicable Mormon taking away our rights. But she has a significant gay customer base and it was your patronage that allowed her to give money to take away your rights.

She deserves to lose your business and “sorry” just isn’t good enough. Gay and lesbian couples, and their children, are now suffering because of Margie and the Mormon Church and their suffering can’t be “comped”.

We just can’t expect people to respect us if they take us for granted. And we shouldn’t patronize those who keep us in perpetual second-class citizenship.

johnson
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I would definitely go and hear what she has to say, but more than likely you’ll get the “I have nothing against gay people, I love them, etc. etc. BUT marriage should be between a Man and a Woman”. I would let her know that you also love her and respect her position, but as a fellow US Citizen, you are deeply hurt and disappointed that she would contribute to permanently making you and your partner second-class citizens.

Jason D
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

definitely worth hearing.

One of the aims of any protest is to be heard, and it sounds like she wants to listen.

You’ll find out tomorrow, and in the days to come what her true intentions are.

But I have to say, I would probably shlork my shorts if the Mormon’s did the exact same thing.

Liam
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I was only doing what Hitler told me to do to the jews

death to el coyote
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

You know what’s right and wrong esp is you are sooo involved with the LGBT community, she knew what she was doing, she just didn’t know she was gonna get caught

Jager
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I would rather die before one bite of el coyote’s food passes my lips again. free or not

David
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I fully support the idea of boycotting anyone who tramples on other people in hate and ignorance. Margie’s stroke of her pen on that donation check said, “I want to see all gay marriages in California dissolved, stat”. Wow, what a nuclear bomb that is. IT was such a big bomb an entire segment of the American population went into sadness and rage. That is HUGE to effect an entire country that way, not to mention the rest of the world
Dollars is the bottom line for Margie or she would not be offering a meeting. She’s a business woman, plain and simple, and she made a public relations mistake she is going to pay for dearly. Margie isn’t just scrambling for forgiveness, she’s scrambling for dollars.
However,I am willing to give the arrested their one phone call, would you consider taping the meeting? Though it seems black and white, it’s always possible there is a catch.
Margie would have to do affirmative action towards her church i.e. publicly denouncing Mormon teachings towards gays, and some sort of affirmative to help the gay community establish gay marriage, for me to budge off my current stance.
I think it’s time the Mormons trotted around in their majic underwear to help rather than to hurt.

howller
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

She is a manager at the restaurant, but is she an owner? Is it even “her” establishment? If she owned the business, it seems that she was being pretty conservative to only give $100 to Prop 8.

I sense that she is like many California Mormons, caught between her love and devotion to her faith, which hasn’t reconciled its theology with reality, and between her gay and lesbian neighbors and restaurant customers, who happen to be perfectly respectable citizens. In some respects we are all be victims of irrational and oppressive theology. I’d give her the benefit of the doubt.

Steve
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Tim;

The only statment that should be acceptable from the owner of El Coyote is very simple: I made a mistake and now support the right of gay people to marry and here is a check to help in your fight.

Mark
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

She regrets this situation because she was found out.

Even more telling – she has contributed to other right wing efforts, including a $1000 donation to George W. Bush in 2004. If anything, she’s at least consistent.

The boycott against El Coyote may end as she says she repents, but as a true Mormon, she doesn’t believe nor want us to have the same rights as she currently enjoys – and that fact that she wants to take ours away. Shame on her!

Tavdy
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Firstly (and this is directed at certain people who’ve already commented, rather than at Timothy Kincaid) the letter said “Please be my guest for an early lunch… and allow me to personally speak with you.” If you’re her guest, that means she (probably) won’t be charging for the food. I.e. this will be costing her money. She’s the one laying out the olive branch; it would be callous for us to insult that action.

Secondly, it would also be self-defeating to do so. If there is even the slightest chance that her mind can be changed we need to take that chance – each changed mind is another voice for equality, and getting enough of those voices together has to be a major goal for LGBT people over the coming months and years. We need to apply the same principles to everyone – attacking people will only result in alienating not only them but those close to them as well.

I do have one major concern, however: emotions are running very high right now, so it is imperative that cool heads prevail tomorrow – so please do whatever you can to prevent the situation getting out of hand as it is likely there will be some there who simply want to cause trouble. I’m sure we can all trust you to express our grievance in a way that will hopefully win us a new ally.

Mark
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Her true intentions are very clear. She’s a devout Mormon and she very clearly knew and understood where her money was going. She didn’t write a check to the Mormon Church. She wrote the check to Support Prop 8.

She knew that she was giving money (and money that came from the community that has supported her much more than she and El Coyote has supported us).

For amyone in the gay community that would even consider going to El Coyote in the future – boycott or not – shame on you!

John
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I am very interested in what she has to say for herself, but I don’t know what she would say that would make me change my mind.

Given where she lives and who she associates with, I can’t see how she wouldn’t understand the gravity of amending the Constitution to deny gay people equal rights.

For me there would still be the problem of supporting a Mormon owned business that is funneling 10% of its profits the Mormon Church to meet the tithe, and can be used by the Mormon Church to further their anti-gay activities.

Timothy Kincaid
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

howller,

It’s technically owned by her mother, Grace Salisbury, the sister-in-law of the woman who founded it 76 years ago. It’s a family business and, for all practical purposes, it’s Margie’s.

Oh and by the way, Margie’s no spring chicken herself.

Lucky Pierre
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Removed. Violation of our Comments Policy

Raphael
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Free lunch in exchange for the loss of our rights?

That sounds like a fair trade…..

FAIL!

Louie
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Wow! What a concept! I just imagined to myself living in Los Angeles and being a patron of El Coyote for many, many years.

And then come to find out that all of my money has been going to an organization that actively and successfully sought to change the Constitution of my State and eliminated my right to marry my partner of 12 years!

If I were in those shoes, I would immediately find another eating establishment that supported my civil rights as an American citizen. Including my right to marry my same-gender partner.

Just thinking of all those years that Margie has been patronizing her clientele making them think that she was accepting them for being gay. And making them all think and believe that El Coyote was a “gay friendly” or accepting establishment?

Perhaps she thought that as long as she takes our money and gives 10% of it to her church, then all is fine by her and God.

Lucky Pierre
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Tavdy

“She’s the one laying out the olive branch; it would be callous for us to insult that action.”

It’s a little late for an olive branch on this issue. “Oh, yes, I voted against your rights, but I still want you to pay my bills and keep me in business so here’s a free lunch. Everythings okay now, right?”

No it’s not Margie. And Tavdy, the fact that she contributed to the prop H8 campaign at the request of the church tells us that she would never go against the LDS. She could have NOT contributed and the church would have been non the wiser. She is a brainwashed cultist, and that’s never going to change.

Timothy Kincaid
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Update provided above

Scooter
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I am a full supporter of boycotts as long as they don’t involve tasty chips, salsa and margaritas. . . ha ha ha.

This is a clear cut issue, she blew it and this business needs to face the full force of our community’s boycott. Anything short of this would be a sell out.

justaskinman
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Listen up: I don’t care how sweet of a church lady she is or how tolerant any Mormon claims to be, they all tithe to the hateful mother ship. And the Mormons are haters.

Y’all know The Book of Mormon says dark skinned people have the mark of Cain, right?

Elizabeth Dennehy
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

If Marjie had put the donation in her own name and not in the name of El Coyote then I would believe her. If you look at the list, many people put under the heading “business” self or same. she easily could have done that if the donation was strictly personal and based on her religious beliefs. Instead, she chose to represent El Coyote and donate in the restaurant’s name, not her own, a place that gays have put on the map. Anyone scanning this list would assume that the establishment supports 8 and that is an slap in the face to her loyal customers who gave her the money in the first place.

Timothy Kincaid
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Elizabeth,

State law requires that you put down the name of your employer. If Marjorie had not put down “El Coyote” she would have been in violation of the law.

Scooter
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Tim, I look forward to hearing about the highlights of your lunch. In the meantime, although I absolutely agree with your comment regarding the purpose of boycott, (it’s to bring about a shift in action, a change in policy), isn’t the action of boycott, in itself, supposed to be punative in nature?

Matt
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

BOYCOTT OF EL COYOTE:

Thursday, November 13th @ 7:00pm
El Coyote (7312 Beverly Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90036)

Bring signs & friends!

Timothy Kincaid
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Matt,

I’m going to discourage our readers from joining the boycott until we hear what the Restaurant and its owners have to say tomorrow.

Richard Brooks
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

It’s interesting that in all the posts quoting this woman, she’s never actually said, “I’m sorry.” I agree–she can have whatever political beliefs she wants. But she shouldn’t expect gay people to patronize her business if she’s using their money to take away their rights. She should have thought about the consequences of her actions BEFORE she donated that money. “Oh, gosh–my church took my brain away from me” ain’t gonna cut it, sweetie–you made your bed. Now lay in it.

Stefano A
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Elizabeth,

As Timothy said:

State law requires that you put down the name of your employer. If Marjorie had not put down “El Coyote” she would have been in violation of the law.

Not only that, but considering this is Marajorie’s business, that’s her source of income, it makes little difference if she donated on behalf of the business or on behalf of herself. She IS the business for all practical purposes. This isn’t a situation like a large franchise or corporation or like Bolthouse Farms where the business could disassociate itself from an individual donar because the business itself didn’t donate.

Additionally,

if the donation was strictly personal and based on her religious beliefs

What “right” does she have to impose her religious beliefs onto secular law? This amendment didn’t do anything to change her ability to guide her life by her own beliefs, no, it was about her IMPOSING those beliefs on civil law.

Stefano A
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

As I said earlier, this shouldn’t be about her or her “personal religious beliefs” it’s about us and secular law.

Has she earned our trust?

By being a “gay friendly establishment” and “donating to LGBT charties” she may have been given our trust, but contributing to Yes on 8 she has demonstrated a betrayal of that trust that both her customers and her gay employees had placed in her, not to mention the LGBT organizations she donated to.

What I’ll be interested in now is what she’s going to do to win that trust back.

Randy
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

So… is the lunch free, what is it, and how much of it is there? Are people obligated to listen to the speechifying? If this person is serious, she’ll donate to invalidateprop8.org and show everyone the receipt.

David
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

The update above sounds like “I’m separate from my business, so don’t shoot me” . . . I hope someone tomorrow can get the facts on her stance at the moment she was writing the check, whether there was any trepidation or fear of back-lash on any level.
Sounds as though she feels a right to vote and support however she wants. That’s fine, it’s America.
I feel she may have been quite insulated from possible outcomes of her actions. I think many are surprised at how this thing moved from a flame to a 52 alarm fire.
A professional interview would be much safer than a room full of emotional people possibly not hearing what they want. But then, it’s a spin of the bottle as to how it will turn out, I hope it’s a good meeting for everyones sake.

Chase
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Are you kidding me? Why in the world would you give her the benefit of the doubt? What POSSIBLE excuse could she offer for supporting such a heinous violation of our civil rights? She knew FULL WELL what her donation was supporting.

She can play dumb and apologetic all she wants. “Sick at heart?” Sorry, bitch, you only lost clientele. We lost a basic civil right. Talk about sick at heart.

I don’t care if she donated $1 to prop 8. There are too many superior Mexican restaurants in the LA area for me to even think of forgiving her and supporting the woman whose donation fueled the violation of me and those dear to me.

I hope those of you who actually attend this snow job will go in remembering the pain of those around you when she busts out the crocodile tears.

Fmormons
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Ask her what she’d think of or say to patrons who had contributed to banning interracial marriage, deportation of illegal immigrants or her marriage to her husband.

Edited. violation of our Comments Policy

Lucky Pierre
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

You removed my comment because I said “F You” to Margie in caps? I’ve seen that on other posts here, and . . . oh whatever. How lame

[Ed: No, I don’t think you have. If so, email me a link and they will be moderated as well. Our comments policy specifically prohibits:

Profanity
The use of derogatory terms.

Your comment included both.]

Ben in Oakland
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

I would say don’t create a martyr. you can bet the Religious reich will be all over those bully fags beating up on a poor immigrant lady just believin’ her beliefs.

If you think she’s mor-bot, don’t threaten her. Just don’t go there. you don’t even have to say why.

Stephen Torrential
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

She may “tolerate” me, but my stomach can barely “tolerate” her lukewarm food and bland margarita. I don’t care how long she’s been a member of the Mormon Church. They asked $100 dollars out of her, and that money was spent on big ugly yellow YES ON 8 signs. Boycott her, her merely “tolerant” restaurant, and its icky reheated enchiladas, which you should have been boycotting already.

Chris Rico
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

What I find even more offensive than the proprietor of cheap, lousy Mexican restaurant supporting Prop 8, is the demonstrative lack of support from many of the Iconic Gay bars an restaurants in West Hollywood. The Abbey, Here, Bossa Nova, Detour Coffee, The French Market Place and a bunch of other Businesses REFUSED to put up signs supporting our community citing “corporate policy.” We should not spend our money at establishments that don’t show visible support for our civil rights.

Mark with a "K"
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Thanks for holding such a terrific public forum; I just discovered you–and now I am in love!
I stand with the majority who agree that:
1. She likely knew exactly what she was doing
2. She MUST be held accountable for what she did.
3. Her attempts at remorse are pitifully small. We shouldn’t be suggesting she write a huge contribution to invalidateprop8.org. She should have already done that.
4. Even if hers were the last tortillas in the world, I’d go for Chinese.

Dave
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Fmormons wrote:

Ask her what she’d think of or say to patrons who had contributed to banning interracial marriage, deportation of illegal immigrants or her marriage to her husband.

What’s wrong with deporting illegal aliens?

Tim
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Somehow, telling me how you love my community, then “blindly” financing oppression does not seem like a comfort or excuse.

I do not want to treat all Mormon’s poorly, like I do not want all gay and lesbians denied the civil rights afforded with marriage. BUT, I will not support Mormon’s who finance divisive and mean spirited campaigns that were full of lies and fear tactics either!

Let her campaign for honesty within her church, not mine.

taylor lavendar
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

WOULD YOU FAGS STOP WITH THE PANDERING TO PROP 8 SUPPORTERS!
THIS IS WHY WE DON’T GET ANY RESPECT FROM PEOPLE!! HAVE YOU NOT LEARNED THAT THIS IS ALL TOO LITTLE TOO LATE?
WE’RE NOTHING BUT COCKROACHES TO THESE PEOPLE AND GIVING THEM ANOTHER CHANCE DIMINISHES US YET AGAIN. STAND UP AND UNITE.

WHY NOW ARE PROP 8 SUPOORTERS NAMES BEING RELEASED? ALL THIS INFORMATION WAS AVAILABLE BEFORE THE ELECTION. COMPLACENCY IS WHY WE HAVE LOST OUR RIGHTS.

GET A BACKBONE! STAY MAD, WE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE.

John
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Ben,

I really don’t think that it is in the best interests of the Mormons or other members of the Religious Right to highlight this woman’s plight, or the plight of the artistic director in Sacramento under fire for the same thing.

If Mormon businesses started worrying about losing a third or more of the business by supporting some anti-gay campaign, I think that many of them would be a whole lot more gun shy about writing out the check.

People may feel sorry for her, but they sure wouldn’t want to be in her shoes with the economy sinking fast.

Stefano A
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

John:

Just an aside since you made reference…

Did you see Eckerman’s statement he made today in which he expressed his apology

“I understand that my choice of supporting Proposition 8 has been the cause of many hurt feelings maybe even betrayal. It was not my intent. I honestly had no idea that this would be the reaction,” said the statement, posted on Playbill.com, among other places.

“I chose to act upon my belief that the traditional definition of marriage should be preserved. I support each individual to have rights and access and I understood that in California domestic partnerships come with the same rights that come with marriage.”

The statement continued: “I definitely do not support any message or treatment of others that is hateful or instills fear. This is a highly emotional issue. I have now had many conversations with friends and colleagues and I now have a better idea of what the discrimination issues are . . . and I am deeply saddened that my acting upon my religious convictions has been devastating to those I love and admire . . . I am deeply sorry for any harm or injury I have caused.”

He’s since donated $1,000 to the HRC which I think equals the amount he denoated to Yes on 8.

While I think he is sincere in his apology, I am still unclear if he realizes that we weren’t voting on theology or for religious recognition but civil recognition.

Gary Carlton
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

As a former Mormon I can tell you a boycott is absolutely the best way to go after these bigots. The Mormons are all about business and making money, and attacking them financially is hitting them where it hurts. I’ve filed with the IRS to have their tax-exempt status taken away, or at least examined (that alone will scare the beJesus out of them, pun intended). I’m researching local donors and boycotting them and their businesses and even their employers (the donor listings include place of employment).

Yeah, I’ve worried that maybe some of these businesses employ some of us. But let’s face facts: the staff at El Coyote is largely hispanic, and Hispanics largely voted Yes on 8. And it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see that a Mormon who blindly donates to whatever the Elders say isn’t going to knowingly employ one of us.

But no hard feelings.

Bob
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Shame on any gay person who ever patronizes El Coyote again. They’re sorry they turned us into second-class citizens now that their business is threatened? Too fucking bad. I hope the place closes down. Why don’t we organize a protest there???

Bob
November 11th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy Kinkaid writes: I believe in listening. If Margie comes to understand what she’s done, expresses sorrow, and asks for forgiveness, then I’m willing to give it. WHAT? Hey, it’s OK you voted to turn me into a second-class citizen and funded the most hateful, lie-filled propaganda campaign in California history as long as you now feel sorry for it. No wonder we fags get screwed over constantly; we’re doormats, and everyone knows it. We either grow some balls and actually hold people to task for their hatred of us, however misguided, or we get treated like this for time eternal. I, for one, am ready to fight. Timothy … not so much, it seems.

Harvey Hussein Milk
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Statement in violation of Comments Policy

David
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy, I look forward to your detailed accounting of the meeting tomorrow. I know you will be fair and accurate. Thanks for keeping us posted on this topic.

paul J stein
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

The entire basis for discrimination against GAY-LESBIAN rights is MONEY. Nothing more nothing less. The religious angle is a bullshit smokescreen. If we get the rights we pay for in taxes and charges it will diminish the amount available to the current right holders. FOLLOW THE MONEY!

Snappyback
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

I encourage everyone to utilize the L.A. Times’ Follow the Donors database to pursue boycotts against every company and individual who donated to Yes on (H)8. We’re in a war, people.

Stefano A
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Just a quick note for correction.

In my post above, it should “Eckern” NOT “Eckerman”

Now back to the regular postings. ;)

Patrick
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

“And not all victims of this agressive effort are gay, some are faithful members of the church that have been caught in the crossfire.

One example of such is Marjorie Chrisoffersen, the family manager of El Coyote Restaurant. Word of her contribution of $100 to the Yes on 8 Campaign has flown by email throughout Los Angeles’ gay community.”

She contributed to the deliberate harm of a group of people. That makes her an accomplice, not a victim. It’s not as if she didn’t know where her money was going. She knew. She is not a victim. To call her such demeans the people she deliberately hurt by her intentional contribution to their harm.

Timothy Kincaid
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

I, for one, am ready to fight. Timothy … not so much, it seems.

Bob, you are displaying your ignorance.

Unlike most of those who are convinced that Margie should be driven from business and ran out of town, I’ll actually be at her meeting this morning.

And, unlike most, I did phone banking, on-the-street talking, put a sticker on my car and a sign in my window, I went to rallies, emailed family, and actually expended the effort to try and make a difference.

You see, Bob, I don’t have the luxury of getting pissy and spouting off without knowing what I’m talking about. I care too much. I’ve worked too hard. And I have priorities that are far higher than “I’ll show her”.

I’m trying to change the situation, not bitch about it. And I invite you, Bob, to join me.

If you live in LA, come to the meeting. If you don’t – but you live in California – take the time to find someone local who contributed and go talk to them. Don’t yell or lecture or get self-rightous. Talk. Tell them the real and tangible way that this amendment changed your life. Let them see the consequences of their actions.

This will likely be brought up for a vote again. I’d like those who contributed against us this time to support us next time. And you – and I, and the other readers here – can make that happen.

I hope you’ll join me.

Bob
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

You go right ahead and kiss the ass of the people who discriminate against you, Timothy. I apparently don’t have as much self-hate as you to go groveling to them begging them to like me and my community after they fund discrimination. “Thank you ma’am, may I have another?” “Ignorant” and “pissy”? Maybe. At least I’m not pathetic.

Timothy Kincaid
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Bob,

Did you contribute at all towards the efforts to defeat the amendment? Or are your passions new-found?

johnson
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Looking forward to hearing how the meeting went, Timothy. You run a GREAT site and do a great service for our community!

Diogenes
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

I think the issue goes beyond her $100 contribution.

As a Mormon, doesn’t she have to give 10% of all her income as tithings to the Mormon “church?” That’s a lot of money from El Coyote.

And if she finds her religion is pitting her against her close friends, clients and their families, perhaps it’s time she finds a new religion.

FlagDoc
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

She deserves everything coming her way.

oh please
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

give me a freakin’ break. the woman is an adult. she CHOSE to stab us in the back. now she’s worried about losing business, so she’s sucking up. wake up. these people need to take responsibility for their actions. i’ll never eat there again.

StraightGirl
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

I just wanted you all to know that your amazing passion and articulation has completely changed my mind over this El Coyote situation. I have been going there for over ten years, sometimes, three times a week (in my younger 20’s) and have celebrated every birthday of mine there. When I heard about the donation, I felt bad, I have many gay friends and it goes to the opposite of my beliefs however, I couldn’t imagine boycotting the restaurant.

Now reading all these amazing posts, it really makes me see things in another light. I am very well aware of El Coyote’s clientele and the fact that they built this restaurant on the backs of so many loyal, loving gay men and women just to then use that money to contribute to their suffering, makes me sick. If I spend money there, I’m hurting people. And I will not do that.

I want to believe that Marjorie will make an act of contrition but I’ll wonder if her desperate pleas are more to save her business. To that end, I’m boycotting El Coyote.

Mark with a \"K\"
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

She may as well change the name of her restaurant from “El” Coyote to “LDS” Coyote!

In solidarity we win!!

Snappyback
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

StraightGirl’s post brightened my day. Thanks to her and all our straight allies.

Bob
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Nice try, Timothy. I donated $500 to no on 8 and EQCA. I had signed on my house, in my car, and persuaded my partner’s Latino extended family to do the same. I spoke with my neighbors about the issue. I participated in two street-corner rallies before the vote, holding up signs encouraging others to vote no. So you see, dear, my passion on this issue isn’t newfound. But hats off to you for trying to discredit me by challenging my commitment to marriage equality.

Bob
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Straightgirl, I’m with you — her newfound sorrow over her donation and vote is nothing more that a desperate attempt to save her business. Nothing more. She got caught, and now she’s panicking. Pure and simple.

Jay
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Aside from the fact that El Coyote ranks with the worst restaurants in LA, which is why I have not patronized it in years, now there’s this.

This woman needs to be boycotted into closure. Why do people think they can support discrimination and then be excused with a simple, “Come over for lunch?”

FUCK HER AND HER HYPOCRITICAL CHURCH.

BOYCOTT EL COYOTE.

DON’T LET YOUR GAY DOLLARS PAY FOR YOUR OWN DISCRIMINATION.

Lisa
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Does anyone know what happened at the lunch meeting Margie held? What did she say? How was the turnout? I can’t find any information about it online.

Timothy Kincaid
November 12th, 2008 | LINK

Lisa,

I was there and have written my observations.

I’m now closing comments on this thread and the conversation can continue there.

Gay Rights Vigilantes « Beetle Blogger
November 13th, 2008 | LINK

[…] Kincaid, who originally posted the statement on Box Turtle Bulletin, said “I don’t believe that Margie acted out of ill intentions. I suspect that she was just […]

The Story So Far… » Blog Archive » Reaping What You Have Sown…(continued)
February 18th, 2009 | LINK

[…] 75 people showed up for the early lunch at El Coyote Cafe to listen to Marjorie Christoffersen explain her decision to contribute to the Yes on 8 Campaign. Most of those attending were men who had been customers of Margie’s restaurant for many […]