Restaurant Owner Ordered To Pay $1.6 Million For Repeatedly Telling Gay She’s ‘Going To Hell’
The incidents happened between 2004 and 2007 by the owner of a New York Chain of restaurants called Mary-Ann’s. The owner, Edward Globokar, is now paying for his bigotry. Mirella Salemi will get $400,000 in compensatory damages and $1.2 million in punitive damages.
According to Salemi, who sued under the New York City Human Rights Law, Globokar compelled his staff to attend weekly prayer meetings that were essentially mandatory because with the restaurant staff believing they would lose their jobs if they failed to attend
At the meetings, Globokar would repeatedly call homosexuality a sin, and tell his staff that “gay people” were “going to go to hell.”
According to Salemi’s lawyer Derek Smith, Globokar also instructed Salemi to dress more “effeminately,” and that she should marry a man and have children.
In affirming the earlier verdict, A three-judge panel of the Appellate Division’s Manhattan-based First Department wrote: “Additional evidence demonstrated that as a result of Globokar’s improper conduct, plaintiff was retaliated against for objecting to his offensive comments, choosing not to attend workplace prayer meetings and refusing to fire another employee because of his sexual orientation.”
In his defense, Globokar had argued that he was exercising his First Amendment rights, including his freedom of religion.
The appeals court rejected that notion.