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Marilyn Synek
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Trans café employee curses, kicks out 23-year-old pro-family activist

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ANALYSIS

LINCOLN, Nebraska, September 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Last week, a transgender barista cursed at and kicked a 23-year-old female regular customer out of the coffee shop where he works after discovering she is a pro-life, pro-family activist.

The café, Cultiva Espresso & Crepes, in Lincoln, Nebraska, fired the belligerent employee and apologized to Marilyn Synek, but then backtracked after media pressure. Synek is a mild-mannered recent college graduate who works for the Nebraska Family Alliance and has completed a number of pro-life and conservative internships.

“One of my favorite weekly traditions is to start my day at 7 AM with a Cultiva breakfast,” Synek explained in a September 11 Facebook post. “I’ve done it loyally once a week since I moved to Lincoln. Today, an employee of the shop approached me and said, ‘Marilyn Synek! I didn’t recognize you until now, but I just realized who you are, what you stand for, and the work you do. You are f****** bigoted trash, and we do not want you in our restaurant. Over 80% of the people who work here are queer. You are not f****** wanted in our restaurant, so get out and don’t come back! If you do try to come back, we will all refuse any service to you.’ The cafe was busy with other customers who watched the incident transpire.”

“I’ve never broadcasted my political opinions in the shop before, and I have always treated the employees of Cultiva with respect and courtesy,” Synek continued. “While we, as Americans, can disagree politically, it is very important to maintain civility when interacting with people who hold different world views. Tolerance goes both ways, and the division in our current political climate will perpetuate if we neglect basic civility.”

The employee, “Natalie” Weiss – a man who purports to be a woman – confirmed to NBC News that he told Synek something “vulgar” along the lines of “get the f*** out.” 

After the story received some initial coverage from conservative press, and a Cultiva owner reached out to Synek to apologize and tell her she is welcome at the coffee shop (Synek wrote on Facebook she accepted the apology), the narrative began to shift to one of transgender victimhood.

Nebraska Family Alliance’s new employee ‘the source of a great deal of personal stress’?

Pro-LGBT media attempted to compare Weiss’ shouting at Synek to behavior the Nebraska Family Alliance – and, more broadly, social conservatives in general – would condone if the roles had been reversed.

The Advocate’s headline was “Trans Coffee Shop Worker Fired for Calling Out Right-Wing Customer”; NBC’s “Trans cafe worker fired after kicking out conservative activist.” The Hill’s was a little more measured: “Cafe fires trans worker who kicked out conservative activist while using 'vulgar' language.”

“The trans woman, Natalie Weiss, now says she [sic] knows she behaved inappropriately, but she points out that the customer’s organization, the Nebraska Family Alliance, would be just fine with businesses turning away LGBTQ people,” The Advocate reported. 

“What I did was unprofessional, and I certainly would not want to be treated the way I treated that woman today,” Weiss said in an interview with the Lincoln Journal Star. “The fact of the matter is, that person and her political allies advocate for that type of behavior to be legal, and they do it every single year in the legislature.”

“For those keeping track, in Nebraska, you can be fired or lose your home because you identify in the LGBT2QIA+ umbrella, and you can also be fired for telling people who fight for that status quo to get lost,” he wrote on Facebook. 

The Nebraska Family Alliance and similar groups do not advocate for businesses to be able to deny people service simply because those people identify as “LGBT,” or because those people hold certain views. Rather, they say businesses and creative professionals shouldn’t be forced to create art celebrating same-sex unions. Barronelle Stutzman and Jack Phillips, a florist and baker whose refusals to participate in same-sex “weddings” have become high-profile cases, both happily served LGBT-identifying customers in their shops and never turned anyone away because he or she identified as “LGBT.” In fact, the customer whose same-sex ceremony Stutzman refused to create flowers for was a longtime customer of hers.

The claim that in many states people can be “fired” or kicked out of housing for being “LGBT” is typically based off of the fact that many states don’t have laws explicitly prohibiting this; they don’t have laws explicitly allowing it, either.

Weiss told NBC that when he yelled at Synek, he was “recovering from a cold” and frustrated over lack of progress on a pro-LGBT ordinance for which he is campaigning:

According to Weiss, Synek was a regular at Cultiva, a shop where the majority of the staff identifies as LGBTQ+, because the establishment is close to City Hall and the state Capitol. Though it wasn’t her first time seeing Synek at the shop, Weiss said she had been dealing with her frustration with the ordinance’s stalemate as well as recovering from a cold before the incident occurred on Wednesday.

“Right there, sitting there was the face of an organization that has been the source of a great deal of personal stress,” Weiss told NBC News.

Synek began working as a Communications Specialist at the Nebraska Family Alliance three months ago and has never testified for or against any LGBT legislation or lobbied on the topic. 

Coffee shop owner uses incident to bash Nebraska Family Alliance

The Advocate reported that Cultiva’s Jason Anderson and Sharon Grossman posted on Facebook:

While we’re proudly liberal personally, and believe in human rights and diversity to the fullest degree, let it be known that we would *never* condone treating a customer this way. We’re running a business, and we try to instill professionalism in our staff, usually successfully.

Whatever your race, religion, gender identity, or general political beliefs, we just want you to enjoy our food and coffee, and have a good time, and tell other people you had a good time. We’re sorry there was a moment when that didn’t happen today.

That post appears to have been deleted.

Anderson then underscored his liberal beliefs when discussing the situation with NBC, claiming, “Groups like the Nebraska Family Alliance pose a direct threat to her life and to the entire LGBT community.” 

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