A disagreement over a damaged pillow quickly turned into a struggle over hate speech.
Byron Batista, who may or may not be dressed as Chewbacca. (via Byron Batista)
Byron Batista, 48, is a wig designer and wardrobe supervisor who lives in Los Angeles. Last January, he brought some throw pillows to Rosali Cleaners, a leather specialist in North Hollywood, to have them cleaned. When he picked them up, he noticed one was severely torn (good thing he didn't trust them with his Chewbacca suit!) He asked the owner for a refund, which is when things got crazy.
The owner, Rosali, refused the refund, and an argument ensued. She began screaming obscenities at Batista, who described the experience to The Huffington Post:
"She started saying, 'Fuck you, fuck you, fag. That's when she took her middle finger and mimicked putting it up her butt."
Despite Rosali's witty barbs, Batista wasn't cowed. He took her to court for the $75. He didn't even care about the money. Now it was personal. Batista won his case, and received a check from Rosali. When he saw the check, however, he knew this wasn't over.
Get it? Cause he's gay. (via Byron Batista)
Batista brought the check straight to the judge, who probably strained his eyes from rolling them too hard. He ordered Rosali to make out a money order, which she did. Batista took the money order to his bank, but the teller said she couldn't accept it. Want to take a wild guess why?
She went biblical this time. Nice touch. (via Byron Batista)
The teller wrote a letter to the judge, explaining that the bank couldn't legally accept a money order that wasn't made out to the recipient's legal name. Unfortunately for Byron Batista, his middle name isn't "Sodomite."
He's still waiting for the next development, but in the meantime, he's getting the word out. He doesn't want anybody to have to deal with a homophobic dry cleaner if they don't want to. He made this excellent point:
"You'd think a place that cleans leather would expect to deal with some gay people. I don't want anybody spending their money there."
Maybe this Rosali woman shouldn't be cleaning leather in North Hollywood if she has such a problem with gay people. Maybe she should pursue a new line of work, like writing a dictionary of old-timey slurs for gay people. She's uniquely qualified.