A Nebraska coffee shop reportedly fired a transgender worker after she kicked a conservative activist out of the cafe.
Natalie Weiss, who is a transgender woman, was working Wednesday at Cultiva Espresso & Crepes in Lincoln when she saw Marilyn Synek, an employee of the Nebraska Family Alliance, eating a crepe in the establishment, NBC News reported.
The lobbying organization advocates for pro-life causes, as well as for religious freedom — including permitting businesses to decline serving LGBT customers — and other conservative ideals, according to its website. It has lobbied against state legislation to ban the discrimination of individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, NBC News notes.
Weiss worked with the Nebraska ACLU and a state advocacy group, OutNebraska, to advocate for the measure’s passage, but the Nebraska Family Alliance — as well as other conservative groups — started a petition that blocked it from being enacted without a majority vote among residents.
Synek was reportedly a regular customer at Cultiva, but Weiss pointed her out while working Wednesday: “Right there, sitting there was the face of an organization that has been the source of a great deal of personal stress,” she told NBC News.
“I thought I recognized you,” Weiss said in calling out Synek. “You should get the f--k out and never come back.”
Synek told NBC News that Weiss called her “bigoted trash” who was not “f--king wanted” at Cultiva, which is reportedly owned and run by LGBT employees.
About half an hour after the incident, Weiss was fired, with the shop’s owner telling the network that the situation was “regrettable … on so many levels.”
“We responded as we would with any other staff member, apologized as we would to any nondisruptive guest, and later attempted to defuse public anger and threats with our social media post,” owner Jason Anderson said.
Weiss said she felt “empowered” to call out Synek because “we were told we were allowed to ask anyone who makes us feel uncomfortable and unsafe to leave.”
“So, for those keeping track, in Nebraska, you can be fired or lose your home because you identify as LGBTQ+, and you can also be fired for telling people who fight for that status quo to get lost,” Weiss told NBC News.