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Gay marriage backers threaten boycotts of pro-Prop. 8 restaurants

November 12, 2008 |  6:48 am

Some opponents of Prop. 8 are threatening to boycott the businesses of people who donated money to the ballot measure that banned gay marriage in California.

It was unclear how widespread the threats were, but an latimes.com database listing contributors to both sides of Proposition 8 saw a jump in traffic Wednesday.

El Coyote, the well-known Mexican restaurant on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, received calls threatening a boycott after it was reported that someone associated with the eatery contributed $100 to "Yes on 8."

Bob Montoya, a manager at El Coyote, said customers have called and threatened to boycott the restaurant, but it does not appear to have affected business. Montoya said he thought a boycott, if one was called, was misguided, as the restaurant has a number of gay employees and has always been gay friendly.

"I"m gay and I work here, and I've been here for 31 years," Montoya told The Times. "It's gay friendly. People have been coming here for many years, gay and straight, families and everybody."

Word of the boycott has spread around websites and Facebook. "We should put our money where our mouth AND support is AND NOT AT EL COYOTE," says a posting on one activist's website.

The Times also received a letter threatening a boycott of an El Pollo Loco whose owner apparently contributed to the Prop. 8 campaign.

Sonja Eddings Brown of ProtectMarriage.com said the boycott threats have extended beyond eateries.

“We have received calls today from our members in Greater Los Angeles and other parts of the state indicating that today their businesses are being hurt because they contributed money,” she said. “People who contributed have been receiving calls from people dropping their business with them.”

Eater L.A. has a spirited debate about whether it's right to boycott El Coyote.

A similar dispute is roiling the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento.

--Alexandra Zavis, Gale Holland and Shelby Grad

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