Did NJ Waitress Lie About Anti-Gay Tip Story?
Earlier this month Dayna Morales, a New Jersey waitress who is openly lesbian, made national headlines after a family allegedly left her an anti-gay note in lieu of a tip for a $93 bill. Now, the family in question is speaking out about the incident, saying that they left a tip and actually support LGBT rights.
The family reportedly contacted NBC 4 New York this week and said their copy of the receipt shows they gave an $18 dollar tip. They also say they did not write any anti-gay message to Morales, who is a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J.
Earlier this month Morales, who previously served in the U.S. Marines, wrote an email to gay blog Have A Gay Day, which posted her story (and a copy of the receipt) on its Facebook page. The note on the bill reads, "I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle & how you live your life."
"NEVER in a million years did I think this would happen," she wrote to Have A Gay Day. "Not only was it a family with two kids, but as I introduce myself and tell them my name is Dayna - the mom proceeds to look at me and say ’oh I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!’
"I am THOROUGHLY offended mad pissed off and hurt that THIS is what her kids will grow up learning and that I served in the Marines to keep ignorant people like them free," she wrote to the blog. "Sorry lady but I don’t agree with YOUR lifestyle and the way you’re raising your kids but you didn’t see me throwing that in your face and giving you shitty service. Keep your damn mouth shut and pray we never cross paths again."
But the family, who is remaining anonymous, disputes the incident, saying they gave Morales $18 for the $93.55 bill. According to NBC 4 New York, the family provided a Visa bill, "which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55," the station writes.
The family told the news station that they believe the receipt was used for a hoax. The wife added that she is left-handed and could not have made the slash in the tip line, which appears to be drawn from the right.
"We’ve never not left a tip when someone gave good service, and we would never leave a note like that," she said. Her husband went on to say that they have both worked in restaurants and know how important it is to tip.
The husband added he did not vote for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie because he does not support marriage equality.
"Never would a message like that come from us," he said.
Morales also spoke with the news station and said she is sure she did not receive a tip on the bill and that the handwriting on the receipt is not hers. When NBC 4 New York asked the server if there was a misunderstanding, she said, "I don’t know, all I know is what I’ve been saying."
Gallop Asian Bistro’s manager and owner would not show a copy of the restaurant’s receipt and could not explain why the family’s credit card was charged more. The restaurant’s officials later said in a statement that they are aware of the allegations against Morales but had no comment, pending an internal investigation.
The family, who had dinner with their two children, says they believe the incident stems from a misunderstanding at the beginning of their meal. They claim they thought the hostess told them their server would be "Dan," and when Morales showed up at their table, the wife said "whoa, you’re not Dan."
The family said they decided to come forward because the story wasn’t going away. Last week, Morales said people were flocking from around the country to show her support, donating tips to make up for the one she claimed she didn’t receive. Morales said, however, that she would give the proceeds to a group that helps severely wounded veterans.
"I just felt like people have a right to know that -- it’s fine if people want to donate to her or to the Wounded Warriors, but they’re doing it under a false pretense," the wife said.