KNOXVILLE, TN – Tennessee state Sen. Stacey Campfield received more than brunch on Sunday at The Bistro at Bijou restaurant in Knoxville, when the restaurant’s owner refused to serve him because she considers his beliefs to be homophobic.
Martha Boggs, the owner of the restaurant—located, coincidentally, on Gay Street—had heard a radio interview with Campfield in which the lawmaker made what she considered to be disparaging remarks about homosexuality.
Campfield, who recently sponsored legislation requiring elementary and middle schools to teach only heterosexually-based sex education, told ABC News that he was taken completely by surprise by Boggs’ actions. “We were just standing there waiting for a table, and this woman came up to me saying ‘I’m not serving you, I’m not serving you, you hate gay people,’” Campfield said. “‘I said ma’am I’m not a homophobe,’ and I offered to send her links from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Web site to back up what I said about homosexuality being a dangerous lifestyle, and being a risky behavior.”
The CDC links that Campfield referred to include statistics from 2008 data which indicate that 54 percent of HIV cases diagnosed that year were from same sex contact among males, while 32 percent was contracted from heterosexual sexual contact. The data did not address female homosexual sex.
Campfield, however, was not as thorough during the radio interview, claiming that it is “virtually impossible” to contract HIV or AIDS through heterosexual behavior.
“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex,” Campfield said.
Boggs said she has no regrets, despite some local backlash. “It was one of those spur of the moment things. I didn’t think about what I was doing, but all I did was look at his smug face, and told myself I do not want to serve him. His comments have gone from stupid to dangerous and I think someone needs to stand up to him,” Boggs told ABC News. “I think Mr. Campfield is a bully, so I just stood up to a bully.”