A gay couple enjoying a romantic dinner in Washington D.C were told they couldn't share dessert because it didn't "look right."
The Washington Post reported that Ron Gage, 55 and Henry McKinnon, 58 were dining at the Prime Rib, an upscale restaurant that presents itself as one of the "top 5 most romantic" ones in the US on Thursday 17 July.
The dinner was going well, with Gage and McKinnon enjoying their dinner date and bouncing some jokes with their waiter, who seemed very amiable. They were not expecting what happened next.
Having finished their mains, the two men ordered one ice cream sundae to share, asking the server for two spoons. He answered: "No can do," and quickly added: "'It wouldn't look right with two gentlemen eating out of the same sundae. It doesn't go with the ambience of the restaurant."
Completely taken aback by such an answer, neither Gage or McKinnon thought of protesting the waiter's words. Instead, they remained speechless and nodded. They finished their meal, payed and left without addressing the issue with the manager. Their only form of protestation was tipping the man less than what they usually give to restaurant staff members.
"I'm kind of embarrassed to say we didn't say anything," McKinnon said. "It just took us back to such a shameful place, in a way."
Following their initial silence, Gage and McKinnon voiced their disappointment on Facebook and Yelp - although their Yelp review now seems to have been withdrawn from the site.
Talking to the Washington Post, the manager of the Prime Rib, James MacLeod explained he was trying to "piece together the situation," mentioning that the waiter in question "is Bulgarian, and he does speak four different languages". He added: "I am not sure if he got confused as to what he was saying, or how he was saying it."
MacLeod said he planned on reaching out to Gage and McKinnon, and that he couldn't believe "that a waiter would have ever said anything like that," adding "there's no way we would condone anything remotely like this".
Since the Washington Post article, the waiter is no longer working at the Prime Rib.
Many users have taken to Yelp themselves to voice their griefs regarding the treatment of Gage and McKinnon.
One review reads: "I do not approve of the witch hunt against a hard-working person who either said something that was unclear and was misinterpreted-or he bungled in some way."
Another stated: "Please retrain your staff on what discrimination means. Gay marriage is legal. Love is love. Our city deserves better than a homophobic restaurant."