Charlotte City Council member announces boycott of new restaurant over owner’s anti-LGBT views
Updated: December 7, 2017 at 6:45 pm
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UPDATE: Mayfield has clarified that she does not intend her personal boycott to be a call for others to join her, and Noble has said why he objected to the expanded non-discrimination ordinance. He also called homosexuality a sin.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield has announced that she will be boycotting a new barbecue restaurant over its owners anti-LGBTQ views and activism.
Noble Smoke will be located at 2216 Freedom Drive, the owner, Jim Noble, having signed a lease earlier this month. He also owns Charlotte restaurants King’s Kitchen and Rooster’s, as well as A Noble Grille in Winston-Salem.
Noble was among nearly 100 religious leaders, business owners and activists who signed onto a letter asking City Council to vote against expanding the nondiscrimination ordinance to include LGBTQ protections.
It is this reason Mayfield cites for her intention to steer clear.
“As the District Representative I am happy for growth,” she wrote on Twitter, continuing, “as an OUT Queer Person of Color I will NEVER patronize this business as Noble is one of the signers against the fully inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.”
As the District Representative I am happy for growth, as an OUT Queer Person of Color I will NEVER patronize this business as Noble is one of the signers against the fully inclusive non-discrimination ordinance. https://t.co/OjoW1L9ipV See below: https://t.co/piJsHpoyzk
— LaWana Mayfield (@lawanamayfield) November 25, 2017
The letter Noble signed was drafted by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the far right legal group defending the Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, in the so-called “religious freedom” case coming before the United States Supreme Court. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled it a hate group.
Noble’s views have also shown up quite visibly in at least one of his establishment’s, King’s Kitchen.
A few minutes later, [Noble] slides a large, mounted poster from behind the banquette and props it up.
“WANTED: FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD,” it shouts. “Drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, pimps, all sick people, gangbangers, gamblers, strippers, AIDS victims, homosexuals, blind, confused, shoplifters, depressed, suicidal people, demon-possessed, and those who are unsaved and cursed by witchcraft.”
“Some of these are lifestyle choices. Some are afflictions. Doesn’t make a difference,” Noble says. “People in life go through tough times. They need help.”
Noble Smoke is expected to open next summer.
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About the author: Jeff Taylor is a journalist, artist and social media editor. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, LGBTQ Nation and The Pride L.A. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @jefftaylorhuman.