Councilwoman Swears She’ll Never Set Foot In New Restaurant Because Of Owner’s History Of Homophobia

"I will NEVER patronize this business," says out Charlotte City Council member LaWana Mayfield.

LaWana Mayfield is putting her money where her mouth is: The Charlotte City Council member has announced she’s boycotting a local barbecue joint over the owner’s anti-LGBT agenda.

Mayfield tweeted an article announcing the arrival of Noble Smoke, a new eatery owned by Jim Noble, who owns Charlotte restaurants King’s Kitchen and Rooster’s and Noble Grille in Winston-Salem.

But she won’t be eating at any of them because Noble signed an open letter encouraging the council to vote against extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people.

“As the District Representative I am happy for growth,” she wrote, “as an OUT Queer Person of Color I will NEVER patronize this business as Noble is one of the signers against the fully inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.”

The letter, signed by was dozens of local business owners and religious leaders, was drafted by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the right-wing legal group that’s defended Prop 8 and is defending baker Jack Phillips in his Supreme Court case next week. (Phillips refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple, in violation of Colorado law.)

North Carolina has been at the center of an LGBT rights firestorm since March 2016, when the state legislature rushed through HB2 to block an inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance set to go into effect in Charlotte on April 1 of that year. Since then HB2, which barred cities from passing LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances, has been repealed but supporters are still looking to enshrine bigotry.

Noble makes no bones about his faith: King’s Kitchen serves traditional soul food to a white-collar crowd but he funnels all the profits to a Christian ministry that feeds the poor, offers Bible study and job training.

That sounds wonderful, except he keeps a sign in the restaurant reminding visitors of his bigotry: “Wanted, For the Kingdom of God: Drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, pimps, all sick people, gangbangers, gamblers, strippers, AIDS victims, homosexuals, blind, confused, shoplifters, depressed, suicidal people, demon-possessed, and those who are unsaved and cursed by witchcraft.”

So, is that smoking or non-smoking?

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