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Anti-gay customers refuse tip to server, other patrons rally around him

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

A 20-year-old waiter provided exemplary service at an Overland Park Italian restaurant, but his anti-gay customers refused to tip him because of his sexual orientation.

As word has spread through social media, other customers are coming in to offer words of encouragement and tip the young server extra.

The man works at the Carrabba's Italian Grill near 107th Street and Metcalf Avenue. His mother also works as a hostess and she was very upset by what was written on the back of the check earlier this week after he waited on a couple.

"Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. (Homosexual slur) do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours," the customer wrote. "We hope you will see the tip your (homosexual slur) choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD's love, but none shall be spared for (homosexual slur). May GOD have mercy on you."

The server and his mother declined to answer questions on camera, referring questions to restaurant management. The server said on social media that he wanted his work ethic and service to be what warranted tips, not sympathy.

Carrabas said in a statement that the company does not tolerate discrimination from either employees or guests.

"We embrace diversity and believe in treating everyone with respect," the company said.

However, Carrabas officials would not say what action if any would be taken if the anti-gay couple returned.

The anti-gay message has galvanized support for the server on social media with a campaign underway to flood the restaurant on Friday. Dr. Marvin Baker and his partner had lunch at the restaurant on Thursday and asked to be seated in the server's section.

"I was angry. I said this is not Christian as I know it," Baker said.

Coincidentally enough, the hostess who led them to their seats was the server's proud mother.

"I said, 'We are here to meet your celebrity. The one who was mistreated.' She said, 'That's my son. Would you like a table or booth?' I said, 'Wherever he's serving,'" Baker explained.

Baker served as a pastor for many years and currently leads a Bible study group for LGBT members. He said the couple's behavior was ungodly.

"This does not represent Christianity. I called them Pharisees," he said. "God really loves us. And God does not advertise or promote hate. That is not love."

Baker said the server indicated to him that he appreciated the support. They agreed that gays experience too much rejection and hurt, and that "it is nice to know that someone cares."

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