Fayetteville councilman John La Tour is being accused of confronting a woman he assumed was transgender and threatening to wave his penis at her at a crowded restaurant.
The Arkansas Times reports that La Tour is a Tea Party conservative and is a self-professed crusader for “Conservative Values.” The lawmaker recently scored a $2,000 campaign donation from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
After the incident, a manager apparently asked La Tour to leave Arsaga restaurant. This inspired him to post a now-deleted Facebook message that urged people to ban the eatery. (“Everyone who lives in Fayetteville, AR should never eat or treat themselves at any of Cary Arsaga’s establishments. I will never go to any of these again.”)
According to a Facebook post by resident Gavin Smith:
Yesterday fayetteville alderman John la tour ward 4 assaulted a dear friend in public demanding they choose a gender in a packed restaurant. He demanded she pick a gender declaiming loudly that he couldn’t tell if she was a man or a woman. She is not transgendered and does not in any way present any ambiguity about gender in any way. She’s a woman. He then explained that he was a man and could prove it by dropping his pants and showing his penis. That is bullying behavior and unacceptable on so many levels. Please call any news outlets you know and alert them to his “protests”. I doubt offering to expose yourself would be considered protected speech even by the right wing activist Dugger family who funded his campaign. He should be kicked out of office.”
La Tour subsequently told the Democrat-Gazette that he was indeed at the restaurant but his words were misconstrued.
He says he’d merely asked the woman — who is employed at the restaurant — to dance.
“You can declare you’re a man or you’re a woman, whatever you want to. I’m not going to ask a man to dance with me,” La Tour insists he says. In fact, he claims his exact words were: “I am a man and I can prove it.”
He says critics interpreted his words “exactly the wrong way.”
Despite a petition calling for his resignation, La Tour won’t be stepping down.
La Tour also insists that he spoke with the employee in question and apologized, and he now wants to meet with management to, in his words, “bury the hatchet.”
The woman in question is “mortified” and doesn’t wish to comment.