Lesbian couple: Restaurant owner hands them letter condemning homosexuality

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NEW BERN - A lesbian couple said an owner of a restaurant handed them a letter condemning homosexuality as they were walking out of the building.

Ariel and Shawnee McPhail said they went into The Stingray Café, on 520 S. Front Street in New Bern, and ate a meal there on Dec. 4. But they said as they were leaving, the restaurant's owner, Ed McGovern, handed them a letter that stated God's opposition to homosexuality. The letter reads as follows:

"God said in the last days that man and wom[a]n would be lover of self, more [than] the lover of God.

That man and woman would have unnatural [affection] for one another. Then, the coming of the Son of Man, who is Jesus. So please, look at your life. See how it hurt[s] everyone around you. And ask the Lord to open your eye[s] before it [is] to[o] late.

The Love of Christ

P.S. my daughter also was gay. It destroy[ed] her life and my grandson."

McGovern confirmed with NewsChannel 12 that he did give the couple that letter, out of love, and that he did something similar to another lesbian couple in the past.

McGovern said he wrote the letter because he did not approve of the McPhails kissing outside of his restaurant. But the couple denied doing it.

"First of all, we didn't kiss. We don't kiss in public. We were holding hands," said Shawnee McPhail. "Secondly, if I did kiss my wife in public, what married couple would you go to and say, 'how dare you. You cannot hold hands and you cannot kiss in public therefore you deserve my judgement.'"

The couple said everyone has the right to his or her opinion, but what McGovern did crossed the line.

"If we're experiencing it, then other people are too and that's not fair," said Ariel McPhail.

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