Paul Pelosi, owner of a Louisville restaurant, posts messages that harm the LGBTQ community

Two memes posted on Facebook by an owner of several well-known Louisville restaurants sparked outrage from the city’s LGBTQ community and calls for a boycott.

The footage was uploaded earlier this week to the personal Facebook page of Fernando Martinez, one of owners of the Olé restaurant group in Louisville. The posts questioned the sexual orientation of Paul Pelosi, husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and shed light on a recent assault at his California home that left him hospitalized with a broken bone of the skull.

A screenshot images was posted on the Louisville Reddit page on Thursday, attracting the attention of many people in town who found the posts offensive. They elicited a particularly strong reaction from several pro-LGBTQ individuals and organizations, including the Derby City Sisterswho bill themselves as “a fun-loving group of radical nuns whose mission is to raise funds and spread JOY in Louisville’s LGBTQ community”, and Spencer Jenkins, who runs the Queer Kentucky advocacy group.

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In a statement to the Courier Journal, Martinez said the posts were a political joke and were not intended to hurt the LGBTQ community.

“The simple statement that I am homophobic would mean disliking and supporting my son, not just my son, several close friends and family members at work,” Martinez said in the statement. “I’ve always been a champion of being who you are as a person, whether it’s race, sexual orientation and/or sexual preference and always someone who said to be proud of who you are.”

Still, several LGBTQ advocates said the posts crossed a line.

Sister Petty Davis – the self-proclaimed leader or ‘Abbess’ of the Derby City Sisters – said the images were ‘offensive’ and ‘dangerous’ given the current political climate and the hatred that gay people, people of colour, Jews and immigrants often have. Face.

Martinez’s group, which he leads with his brother Yaniel Martinez, owns several popular restaurants and restaurant chains in the Louisville area, including Taco Luchador, Steak & Bourbon, Guacamole, Señora Arepa and La Bodeguita de Mima.

Davis said he had dined several times at Martinez’s restaurants, but would not return. He started a petition — on his own, he says, and not in partnership with the Derby City Sisters — to call for a “boycott” of restaurants.

“Let him know that you will not support his businesses because of his insistence on spreading hate,” said the online petition, which had 135 signatories as of Friday evening.

“There are so many other great places in this wonderful city and we don’t need that kind of hate in our fantastic food scene,” Davis told the Courier Journal.

Jenkins, founder and executive director of Queer Kentucky, said the issue is “complex” and affects more people than the man behind the posts.

“(T)he people who work for these people shouldn’t be penalized because of the political views of their bosses, but people should also know what political ideology their money is fueling,” Jenkins told the Courier Journal in a Facebook post.

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Pelosi was attacked at his home on October 28 and was discharged from hospital on Thursday after undergoing surgery for a fractured skull he suffered in the assault.

The suspect in this case, David DePape, is accused of attacking Pelosi at his home with a hammer while searching for his wife, a divisive national politician. DePape is currently being held in the San Francisco County Jail and faces multiple charges including attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. He faces between 13 years and life in prison if convicted.

USA TODAY reporters contributed. Contact journalist Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez at [email protected]

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