On Friday, May 20, ABC's What Would You Do? traveled to Farmer's Branch, Texas, just outside of Dallas. In this particular episode of the hidden camera, ethical dilemma series, producers wanted to find out how patrons of a local, family-style diner would react to a waitress verbally harassing a lesbian couple, then a gay couple - both dining with their children. The couples, their children and the waitress were all actors, but no one else in the restaurant knew that while hidden cameras were rolling.
Consider this comment made by the waitress to the lesbian couple dining with their children:
"I mean it's bad enough you're lesbians but you're also parents and they don't have a father. I think that's kind of bad...I think this is terrible. I think they need a dad!"
What would you do?
In a part of the country with a conservative reputation, one might not be surprised to see the restaurant patrons support the waitress, but that was not the case. Here are some of the comments made by patrons who pulled the waitress aside:
"I've never felt so uncomfortable and so beside myself with anger. You are a horrible person and a horrible waitress, and you need to leave."
"You're the hate monster."
"This is not the place for a political debate. This is a place for you to do your job."
"You are not king. You are not God. You have no choice. You have no place to put anybody in their place."
After it was revealed that all was captured on hidden camera, John Quinones spoke with one of the patrons who defended the gay couple.
"It's about the quality of the parents and the love that there is in the home more than it's having a mom and a dad," said the patron.
This is not the first time What Would You Do? has centered around LGBT-related issues. One year ago, a show just like the one above was filmed in New York. Of the 100 bystanders who witnessed discrimination against a gay couple in the New York restaurant, less than a dozen spoke up in support of the couple. At Norma's Cafe in Farmer's Branch, Texas, 53 people witnessed the discrimination against the gay and lesbian couples mentioned above, and a total of 24 people - almost half - spoke up in support of the couples.
Yes, there's certainly a long way to go with regard to LGBT equality in Texas, but after watching this segment, we think you'll agree there's much to be hopeful about...and perhaps new meaning to the familiar saying "Don't mess with Texas!"