Gay Bar Owner’s Racist History Uncovered On Facebook

Palmer Marsh, owner of Burkhart's in Atlanta, used the n-word to describe President Obama.

The owner of a gay bar in Georgia is facing criticism after a series of racist Facebook posts were made public.

Starting in 2015, Palmer Marsh, owner of Burkhart’s Pub in Atlanta, made numerous racist remarks, including referring to then-President Barack Obama a “stupid n*gger” and suggested America would be better off if the Confederacy won the Civil War. (Several posts are still live on Marsh’s feed.)

Palmer Marsh

Burkhart’s opened more than 20 years ago on Piedmont Avenue and is a popular destination for drag shows. Marsh has not commented about the controversy, but Burkhart’s general manager, Don Hunnewell, told the Georgia Voice he contemplated quitting after reading Marsh’s remarks.

“Yesterday it took everything I had to soldier on and not terminate my employment agreement,” said Hunnewell. “As general manager, my first obligation is to maintain and care for the hard-working staff who have dedicated many years to serving a huge loyal customer base… these 50 plus souls often live tip jar to tip jar.”

He added that the Marshes are retired “and have had no active participation in the operations” of the bar.

The racial attitudes of gay bar owners have come under fire in recent years, as some have instituted dress codes that single out people of color. In 2016, a video surfaced showing Darryl DePiano, owner of iCandy in Philadelphia, complaining about black patrons and using the n-word.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery