Gov. Nathan Deal’s anti-gaydar is acting up. The same pol who ran a virulently anti-gay campaign last year and in May signed an immigration law that some gays oppose, took time out on Tuesday to lunch at Radial Café.
Um, yes. That Radial. Frank Bragg’s gay-owned eatery on DeKalb Avenue that’s one of many gay-owned businesses serving as safe spaces for immigrants, wins awards for its philanthropic efforts, and hosts scores of LGBT events. It also shares a building with the Rush Center, which houses Georgia Equality, Atlanta Pride and the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative.
It’s a wonder that lightning didn’t strike.
Intrepid gay journalist and gossip hound Rich Eldredge scored the scoop for ATL Intel:
Intel has learned that Deal and eight staffers breezed into Radial Cafe at lunchtime where the governor enjoyed the Tuesday Special: Cuban pulled pork on ciabatta with black beans and plantain relish. Other staffers enjoyed the breakfast special of buttermilk waffles with roasted plum sauce and organic maple syrup.
“I was really surprised he ate here,” Bragg (bottom photo) conceded in a message to Intel. Still, Bragg was the perfect host and shook hands with the governor and his staff. Alas, the governor did not linger for the Radial house-made dessert of Oreo cookie ice cream pie with chocolate coffee sauce.
Let’s recap: During a bitter primary campaign, Deal (top photo) attacked opponent Karen Handel for her past support of LGBT issues, including domestic partner benefits. He also singled out YouthPride in a campaign commercial, an effort that earned him rebukes though GOP voters didn’t seem to mind.
Deal also joined Handel in lashing out at a federal judge’s ruling against California’s Proposition 8 gay marriage ban.
So Georgia Equality put a target on Deal and urged its LGBT supporters to vote against him.
On Tuesday, Deal dined with eight staffers. Georgia Equality’s invite must have gotten lost in the mail.