Online donations pour in for waitress who was refused a tip because she’s gay

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By Kristina Sgueglia


(CNN) — A New Jersey waitress who served in the Marine Corps for over two years told CNN Friday she is now getting tips from all over the world after she says a family refused to tip her because she is gay.

“I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with what your lifestyle and how you live your life,” a family member wrote on the receipt for $93.55 at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

“I was offended. I was mad at first, and then I was more so hurt,” 22-year-old Dayna Morales told CNN.

Morales, who did a tour with the Marine Corps between 2009 and 2011, said she has been “out open and proud for years,” but “never discussed with them (the family) anything; it was their pure assumption.”

“It’s disrespectful and it’s hurtful,” she said. “I feel bad for their children because that’s how they are going to be raised.”

She says the trouble began when she approached the table of four — a man, wife and two girls — at around 7 p.m. Wednesday. Morales said that when she introduced herself as Dayna and told them she was going to be their server, the older woman “looked at me and said, ‘I thought you were going to say your name is Dan.'”

Morales was so upset about the incident, she vented on Facebook, and the group “Have a Gay Day” posted her story on their Facebook page. The response was overwhelming.

“People have sent me tips from all over the world just to show support. I have had people from Germany to South Africa, Australia to the UK, San Diego, everywhere.”

Morales says that between the people who have called in to the restaurant to give credit card numbers, those who have mailed tips, or donated to a special PayPal account the restaurant set up, she estimates that she has received more than $2,000 so far.

She plans to donate the funds to the Wounded Warrior Project, and the restaurant plans to match the donations and give it to a local LGBT organization.

“It wasn’t for the money. I never planned on this. I just wanted to vent,” she said. “The purpose was to inform people it wasn’t OK.”

Morales, noting that gay marriage recently became legal in New Jersey, added, “It’s 2013. This shouldn’t be going on.”

The general manager of the restaurant, Byron Lapola, did not release the family’s names, adding that “we fully respect our guests’ privacy.”

Lapola posted support for Morales on the restaurant’s Facebook page:

“Dayna is one of our absolute best servers working here at Gallop. We as a team were deeply hurt by the events that transpired. I myself as the General Manager took it personal as my team treats each other like a family. I made sure that Dayna was compensated for the tip, as for emotionally I wish there was much more I could do. One thing I can say is that people of that woman’s kind business is not welcome here at Gallop, and I can assure you that if they decide to dine here again that they will be turned away.”

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • Eric Anderson

    You should ALWAYS tip. That’s how they make their living. It is dishonest to make someone work for you and then refuse to pay.

    Tip extra for exceptional service. Talk to the manager about poor service. But always, ALWAYS tip at least the standard amount.

  • Eric Anderson

    While we’re on the subject: Your pizza driver’s take-home pay is TIPS. His wage is just eough to cover his vehicle expenses. He can do 2 or 3 runs per hour, at best. How much would YOU want to make per hour? Do the math. One or two dollars is an insult.

  • Robert Humphries

    You tip irregardless. I would not want to even be on a dark street with people who think like that. Judgemental and hateful. They call themselves Christians.

  • Becky

    Now the news is showing the people that she waited on brought the receipt to show that they did tip. They even have the credit card statement that shows a tip was added to the bill. They said they came forward because they did not write anything on the bill about the server and do not feel that way about gays and they also tipped so they thought it may have been a scam. Which is not good for the server or the restaurant at this point. The people said they have been customers there for years.

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