Fayetteville Councilman John La Tour, a tea party member and recipient of Josh Duggars campaign funding, is being accused of threatening to expose himself to a female employee of a city restaurant. People who witnessed the incident say he approached the woman assuming she was transgender and told her that he was man and that could prove it by dropping his pants.
The Arkansas Gazette reports that La Tour, who represents Ward 4 on the city’s western side, said Friday morning he asked an employee at Arsaga’s at the Depot on Dickson Street what her gender was because “we live under an ordinance which lets me choose my gender based on how I feel that day.”
La Tour was referring to the Uniform Civil Rights Protection ordinance that protects gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination by nonreligious businesses and public accommodations which he is a vocal opponent of.
La Tour said the incident began during his regular Friday morning stop at Arsaga’s to meet a group of acquaintances. The music was overly loud despite his request to lower the volume, so he responded by dancing along with it, he said. He intended to ask the employee to dance with him but wanted to confirm she was a woman first, La Tour said, citing the ordinance.
“You can declare you’re a man or you’re a woman, whatever you want to,” La Tour said. “I’m not going to ask a man to dance with me.”
He went back to his table, where a manager came and asked him to leave, La Tour said. A post on his political Facebook page said residents should never go to Arsaga’s again, but the post was deleted by Sunday afternoon.
Evidently calling on the public to boycott a city business is in violation of Fayetteville’s Councilmember’s code of ethics.
According to the Rules of Order and Procedure document you have violated Item G. Code of Ethics, specifically Items 2 (Conflict of Interest) and 3 (Responsibility to all Citizens).
“…shall refrain from making or influencing decisions involving business associates, customers, clients, competitors and immediate family members…”
A Change.com petition calling for John La Tour’s resignation currently has 2800 signatures.