Liza Friedlander was shoved in the chest and kicked in the legs while being called a “f**king dyke” and other homophobic slurs by Edgar Orellana, the manager of a Sizzler in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, last year.
The attack set off other patrons, who began shouting homophobic insults at Friedlander, as her friends frantically dialled 911 out of fear she would be killed, reported the Daily Mail last year. One diner who referred to Friedlander, who is openly gay, as a “he-she freak” and demanded she leave. Another diner reportedly threatened to show her “what a dick is.”
Natalie Chin, staff attorney for Lambda Legal, praised the decision in a statement. “Liza Friedlander experienced violence, discrimination, and degradation at this restaurant because she did not conform to the stereotypes of how a woman should look,” Chin said. “The result sends a strong message: Violent and discriminatory behavior motivated by bias against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals or transgender people will not be tolerated. Businesses are not exempt from treating LGBT people with dignity and respect.”