Restaurant investigating whether gay waitress really was denied tip

Posted at 6:34 AM, Nov 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-27 08:37:13-05

(CNN) — Hundreds of people verbally ripped apart a young waitress via social media Tuesday after a news report raised questions about her claim that a family decided not to tip her because she is gay. The restaurant owners now say they are investigating her claim.

Dayna Morales, 22, a former Marine, first complained about the alleged incident on a “Have a Gay Day” Facebook page, posting a photo of a receipt that read, “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with what your lifestyle and how you live your life.”

The post went viral. Morales claimed a family of four wrote the message on the receipt for $93.55 at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, New Jersey, after she waited on them.

A report on television station NBC4 displayed a receipt from a family showing an $18 tip on a bill of $93.55, and a credit card statement with the same total value, $111.55, to back it up.

In the wake of the report, the restaurants’ owners released a statement saying, “We are aware of the allegations and we have no comment pending an internal investigation,” according to the general manager.

Facebook is on fire with hateful comments from people angered by the report.

Brian Cook wrote on the original Facebook post, “When you lie to make someone LOOK homophobic, you weaken your cause.”

Mia Frederiksen wrote, “Whatever the motive, it’s going to harm people who truly are discriminated against. The more this happens, the more the truly maligned will be ignored.”

Morales, who was not working Tuesday, according to her manager, could not be reached for immediate comment.

After Morales’ story drew media attention, she and the restaurant received tips from “all over the world,” Morales told CNN earlier this month. She and the restaurant said they planned to donate the money to the Wounded Warrior Project because Morales served in the Marine Corps for two years.

On the Facebook page, commenter Jeff Barrett wrote, “Wounded Warriors does not deserve to be associated with somebody who would cheapen the plight of both veterans and the LGBT community and slander an innocent family for money.”

The restaurant’s general manager, Byron Lapola, said the money that came in still will be donated.

By CNN’s Allie Malloy and Kristina Sgueglia

Earlier report: