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Marriage Equality Sign Stirs Storm in a Harlem Coffee Shop
HARLEM — As the U.S. Supreme Court hashes out the legality of gay marriage in Washington, D.C., another debate over the issue is bubbling up at The Chipped Cup, a hip new Hamilton Heights coffee shop.
After The Chipped Cup drew the gay-marriage symbol — a square with a pink equal sign — on the sandwich board outside its shop on Broadway between 148th and 149th streets, a patron accused the shop of "trying to cram their political agenda" down people's throats.
"You just lost two local customers with your political sandwich board," a person listed as Leesa Dahl wrote on the coffee shop's Facebook page. "We were so happy when you joined the neighborhood and were faithful, but alienating the majority of the population is a really irritating and dumb move. We will encourage others not to patronize your business."
On Twitter, Dahl, who lists herself as a pianist in the opera world, wrote: "It’s too bad @ChippedCupNY discriminates against 98% of their customer base by being H8ful!"
Private messages sent from Dahl's Twitter account said her main issue with the sign was her disappointment over her belief that the shop was "pushing a political agenda to customers."
Criticism of her comments over the Internet is unfair, she says.
"I have been labeled as a bigot, totally wrongly and unfairly," she wrote in her message.
The Twitter and Facebook comments prompted a fury of reaction on social media sites, including Reddit.
The Chipped Cup owner Andrew Ding, 33, who is gay, said he was shocked by the backlash from Dahl, who he believes was a fairly frequent customer of the shop, along with her boyfriend.
"It's a sign on a sandwich board about equality. How anyone can turn that into something about hate is beyond me," Ding said.
On Facebook, Dahl also appears to taunt Ding, a former violist.
"I'm sorry you were a sucky violist and failed," a post from Dahl read.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing challenges to the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, as well as California's gay marriage ban.
Mary Jane Neumann, 25, manager of The Chipped Cup, posted the symbol. She said she was shocked by the customer's negative response, especially since there has been an equality symbol on the door since the shop opened.
"I am a believer in marriage equality and our staff shares the same belief," she said. "I think she looks really stupid. There's been more positive than negative responses."
The sandwich board is usually updated on a daily basis by employees at the shop, which opened in July 2012 and is credited, along with neighboring bar Harlem Public, with being signs of retail growth in the neighborhood.
Once he began reading some of Dahl's comments about the sign, Ding posted a note to Reddit asking what he should do.
Most of the responses have been supportive of Ding.
"Love it. You should offer free coffee for people who bring same sex wedding photos," wrote Reddit user onique from Bushwick.
"I guess she's just bigoted on principle?" wrote sethamin.
Ding said he was warned about putting the symbol up outside the store and on his Facebook page.
"People advised me it's not smart because business does not mix with politics but this is a moral issue," Ding said. He agreed to the sign anyway and told staffers to give out his cell phone number if customers had issues with it.
Some Reddit users such as td888 agreed, writing, "it is never a smart move to inject politics in your business. Especially if the subject matter is very controversial. Whether you think you [are] right or wrong, you will upset potential customers."
Ding, who is currently single, said he fully supports gay marriage.
"I'd like the right to get married one day so it's imperative for the LGBT community to not have this be a taboo issue. I pine for the day when this is a blip," Ding said.
Customers at the shop, where the marriage-equality sign remained on the sandwich board Thursday, said they supported the gesture.
"It doesn't bother me because I think similarly and support gay marriage."
- For non-New Yorkers, Hamilton Heights is close to Columbia University and City College. It's not the Harlem most people think of when they hear the name.
- Neither the black or the Latino communities are friends of the gay community, generally speaking anyway.
Black people feel we have no right to complain of civil rights and I've even had a black coworker tell me that if we "weren't in chains, we have no right to claim injustice."
She's in her 40s so, I doubt she's even been in chains but, there ya go.
- Where's the mention of Black or Hispanic people in this news story, R2?
- Let her have it, fellas.
She's delusional if she things she's not a hateful bigot for her comments.
The coffee shop will do find without her pig-ignorant business.
- This was the top comment on an article at Gawker called "Spot The Homophobe[...]":
[quote]Just because someone doesn't agree with same sex "marriage" doesn't make them a homophobe. Just because someone doesn't agree with same sex "marriage" doesn't mean they don't believe same sex couples shouldn't have the same rights as non same sex couples. I think it's a bit fuck up of people to shit on the tradition of "marriage" and those who believe strongly in it for some fucking bullshit crap that affects like less than 1% of the entire world population. Jesus fucking christ fuckers. Just because you are gay doesn't make you a fucking victim and doesn't give you the fucking right to piss on what the majority give a fuck about. Screw you.
These people don't even know what they're arguing anymore. They just look hateful and pathetic.
- The people at that coffee shop are white and Asian. Check the gallery at the linked news story.
- [quote] Neither the black or the Latino communities are friends of the gay community, generally speaking anyway.
Leesa Dahl is white.
She claims to teach at Julliard and has crazy eyes.
- Holy crap, I googled Leesa Dahl and she is one freak. Apparently she has harassed people and is a stalker. One page says she used another person's name to "make wrong and hateful edits to a Wikipedia page of a soprano colleague."
A Leesa Dahl who is a teacher has been fired from schools three times "as a result of anti-social conduct that included stalking, harassment and threats directed at co-workers and her own students. Additionally, there were no fewer than three outstanding warrants for her arrest on charges of felony harassment in the Commonwealth of Virginia."
I'm betting this is the same Leesa Dahl.
- No idea what this post is about, but it looks like Leesa is an inveterate cray-cray.
- Some poor schlub notified an opera company about Leesa Dahl's history of harassment, firings and warrants for felony harassment in Virginia and wound up getting fired herself for using the email account of the school she worked for.
Yeah. Leesa's got a long history of the cray
- Yeah, that kind of quote at R5 is getting tiresome. If they're not bigots what are they fighting for other than the right to be...bigots?
These people clearly have a sense of superiority which they are desperate to maintain. When they can't discriminate against gay people anymore how will they feel good about themselves?
I'm still shocked at Alito's tone deaf remark about gay marriage being younger than the internet - the idea that gay people aren't capable of forming meaningful and lasting unions unless given permission by heteros is deeply offensive. Equality needs to be passed to reflect what is already going on not to allow it to happen.
- I don't have a twitter account or else I'd let everyone involved know about "a woman named Leesa Dahl's" social and criminal history.
- [quote]These people clearly have a sense of superiority which they are desperate to maintain.
I think a better word is 'supremacy'. They're straight-supremacists.
- Foiled again, R2. You racist fuck.
- "Neither the black or the Latino communities are friends of the gay community, generally speaking anyway.
Black people feel we have no right to complain of civil rights and I've even had a black coworker tell me that if we "weren't in chains, we have no right to claim injustice."
She's in her 40s so, I doubt she's even been in chains but, there ya go."
There are just as many white religious homophobes per capita as there are any other black and latino religious homophobes.
Enough already with this myth that somehow there is more of a homophobic presence in the minority community.
Racially, homophobia is an equal opportunity disease.
Gay people may expect more from blacks or Hispanics when it comes to empathy for gay rights. But that doesn't change the fact that homophobia is no more present among minority people than it is among Anglos.
- The Washington Post recently reported that the majority of blacks support same-sex marriage. The only group significantly against gay marriage was/were Evangelical whites.
You can google it.
- Link to Leesa Dahl's fb page! Please!
- R2 is some idiot who sees "Harlem" and thinks only one thing.
When was the last time you were even in NYC, moron?
- What's that smell?
Leesa's bridges' all A-FLAME!
Burn bitch burn
- Here is Leesa Dahl's FB page
- The Chipped Cup has a facebook page if you want to message support for them and out Leesa Dahl as a longtime stalker and harasser
- If that is the real FB page, it looks like she cleared it out save one photo.
- She likely didn't clear it out R23, rather is limiting what can be viewed by those other than her friends.
- Her bf is named Anthony Bialy and he works for Lego
- Don't put a lot of shit about her on the store's Facebook page.
Who knows 100% you're right and you don't want to get the store in shit.
- People could simply wonder if she is the same Leesa Dahl as the one who had three arrest warrants for harassment in the commonwealth of Virginia; or if she is the same Leesa Dahl who is alleged to have used another person's name to alter a soprano's Wikipedia page.
- Say something nice at Chipped Cup.
R26 is correct, we are our own Diplomats, we must be diplomatic.
- Oh -- and she is not on staff at Julliard as she claims and was never on staff at Aspen. And she attends CPAC conservative convention, from which she tweets under the moniker Dahlhalla.
- This is one of the most fascinating threads we've had here for a while. I wonder how she manages to keep herself afloat. She must come from money. The CPAC connection is pretty priceless if true.
It's no surprised that some of the most deranged are attracted to the simple black and white, good and bad dichotomies the right wing offers as their gospel.
And she just happened to crash smack dab into the midst of the gay marriage debate on the week the SCOTUS heard arguments about DOMA and Prop. 8. Please keep the crazy coming.
- Just checked her FB page and we have 1 friend in common...and he's a gay man. I wonder if he's quite aware of how nutso she is?
- Does she list Michelle Shocked under "likes"?
- Wait. You mean to tell me that Manhattan isn't the open-minded utopia DL makes it out to be? I'm shocked, I tell you--SHOCKED!
- yes R35. It is shocking that out of 8 million plus people, there is one asshole making a fool of themselves over something beyond their control. Just as it is shocking that someone from a flyover state would use the opinion of one person to determine what 8 million more really think.
- Liked their page. Wish there was a way to patronize their business online since I'm on the other side of the country.
- Interesting webpage linked below, if anything, for the fact that a few respondents either knew Leesa Dahl or had heard of her and none had good things to say.
[quote]Juilliard piano teacher stirs global storm with gay marriage tweets
- Maybe CPAC will book Leesa and her accordion to entertain them next year.
- She looks like a lunatic on her facebook page and her boyfriend looks like he's just glad to be sticking his dick in anything (however remotely) human.
- I love that she's identified with Julliard in that article. No doubt, there is forthcoming statement regarding the institution's estrangement from her.
- Beware of Leesa, who sounds a lot like S
Dr. Amy Bishop.
- She does look like a complete bitch, doesn't she? Strange how that personality trait shines through in her photos like that.
- R3, it's just an excuse for R2 to express his own dislike of blacks and Hispanics, nothing more.
- R41, Aspen and Juilliard have both released statements claiming that she was never employed by either organization.
Here she is playing the piano. She stands up at 4:12:
She's a full-figured gal.
- I looked at her Dahlhalla twitter account and she is ecstatic at the attention she is getting. So are her friends who commend her for standing up to the politically "intolerant smelly slacker crowd."
Ironic, coming from people who attend the CPAC convention every year)
She posted a photo of the Chipped Cup shop with a few customers inside, saying it's #standingroomonly #ohwait. "But everyone said they were coming to support the h8tyh8H8erz!"
Her soft-looking bf tweets "So @dahlhalla played beautifully at a recital tonight while her haters in the "music business" sat home jobless? BRB, can't stop LULZing!"
While she answers "and nobody came to fire me"
How could they fire her when she is someone who is hired to play by the hour?
- Things didn't go the way R2 was hoping with his thread. *tee hee*
- Is she sure she's not a gay man ? That 'sorry you were such a sucky violist' was pretty bitchy.
(And DOH for her spelling of violinist)
- [quote]And DOH for her spelling of violinist
Since he doesn't play the violin, there's nothing wrong with her spelling. DOH!
And DOH to R48 for not knowing about a viola.
- She's probably pleased about all of the negative attention she's getting. I wonder if she knows how well-known her stalking tendencies have become and if current boyfriend is aware of it. More importantly, what does he looks like?
- I'd love to attend her next recital.
With a nice big basket of rotted tomatoes.
- R50, the boyfriend:
- Leesa Dahl just ended her career with all this unnecessary hating. Who the fuck will hire a famous homophobe to perform OR teach music? NO ONE.
What a dumbfuck. She must have mental issues.
- CPAC comventions are chock-full of mentally unstable freaks who can not work & have way too much time on their hands.
- He's a "writer" and as loony right as she is. And I guess he's not Jewish.
[quote]Anthony Bialy @AnthonyBialy 14h Truth: bunnies represent spring; Simon, who helped carry the cross, returned to his basket of eggs and found they turned multiple colors.
- [quote]Leesa Dahl just ended her career with all this unnecessary hating. Who the fuck will hire a famous homophobe to perform OR teach music?
Don't the Domionists and right wing Christians have a concert circuit? I can see her getting hired and thriving in that atmosphere until she starts stalking a married music director at some affiliated church.
I wonder if Anthony Bialy realizes that he can never, never, never break up with her or else?
- Their twitter accounts seem to show them being obsessed with joblessness. They are always implying that the coffee shop people are somehow unemployed. Obviously, the coffee shop people have jobs, owning, managing and working in the coffee shop. Duh. Since the shop is near Columbia University and City College, I'm guessing a lot of their clientele are students.
- She's a rocket scientist, I tell ya:
[quote] Dahlhalla @dahlhalla 23 Mar I can manage/combine my @Starbucks cards online, yet can’t remotely do that with my Metrocards, @MTAInsider. Why private sector > gov’t-run.
This was two days before Starbucks CEO reaffirmed the company's support for SSM in response to a shareholder. NOM promptly announced a boycott.
She'll soon not be able to drink coffee anywhere but Dunkin' Donuts.
- I'm surprised none of the websites that reported on the story have investigated and exposed Leesa Dahl. Three must be a record of her warrants and orders of protections against her.
- Does she (correction: did she) have a sister named Lila?
- [quote] What a dumbfuck. She must have mental issues.
Try reading the rest of the thread before commenting. Her mental issues have been identified and discussed for two and a half pages.
- [quote]I wonder if Anthony Bialy realizes that he can never, never, never break up with her or else?
I like to imagine that he knew nothing about her past before he read about it online in the last 48 hours.
- She accused a former fiancé of beating her and he said she harmed herself in order to get him in trouble.
I believe him.
Anthony better have witnesses and video evidence of their final meeting if he decides to break up with her.
- R45 ...you're right. She's a big fat girl.
She puts the lotion on or ....
- [quote] The Man has been oppressing people who didn't vote for him since 2009. The people change, but not the roles. Our new proletariat is enduring what happens when those who claim to fight oppression gain power so they can expand arbitrary rule.
[quote] As for the erstwhile downtrodden, it's tricky to keep whining about oppression when the supposed proletariat controls the executive branch and a good portion of the legislature. They're in favor of a similarly brutal hierarchy to the one they claim they long endured, just one that's more unpredictable in its rulings.
The above is from Anthony Bialy's conservative site.
He is talking about Obama (The Man). I personally have never heard Obama "whine" about "oppression" of the "downtrodden."
I don't think I've ever even heard Obama use the words "oppression" and "downtrodden." At least, not in the period of 2009-now.
- Anthony really likes adjectives.
- Tee, hee. She has a krush on Karl Rove and celebrated the end of his sanctified heterosexual marriage!
Sad face for his 24-year marriage.
I’m wondering if it is maybe a consequence of all the work on Courage and Consequence? (I’m pretty damn excited to read this, by the way).
It’s no secret I love teh Rove, but here’s reason numberÂ 87Â of millions whyÂ he’s cool and cute: for the price of a mere SASE, he’ll send you a special autographed bookplate for his new opus! He’s also a good Twitterer, and has been very generous with his own time to have conversations with his followers. My heart went all a-flutter after I got my first KarlRove direct message.
Ruby Slippers has more,Â including Greenwald and Sullivan losing it over Rove’s supposed marriage hypocrisy.
Cheers to Bachelor Karl!
- R48 seems to be equally as stupid as this cunt.
- I'm shocked that abortions like this cunt still exist in this day and age.
- You know what's sweet? From now to the end of time, any prospective employer who Googles her name is going to find this and more.
- Well, two days ago I had 19 friends in common with her on FB. Today, I only have 14 in common with her. So at least a few people have dropped her. But I don't think those people have any idea of the enormity of her insane past. I wish the rest of this stuff--the stalking of the MET tenor especially--would come out.
- Fuck off R16. You shouldn't expect anything from me. If you aren't black don't speak for the black community. The lady who said "if you weren't in chains you have no right to talk' is right. I have all sorts of patience but when I hear whites (usually lesbians) trying to climb on my back that's when I'm done. You play that shit thinking we won't speak up for ourselves but it don't work like that.
In a nut shell...Stop speaking for the black man because you don't know shit. And keep the fuck off our backs. We've been abused enough.
- R73 seems to have missed the point.
- And has a huge chip on the shoulder!
- r72: It has, believe me. I've recieved cut-and-pasted emails of her psycho story from three different friends in the music world.
- [quote]If you aren't black don't speak for the black community.
And if you ARE black, perhaps you shouldn't speak for the black community either. Because you don't.
- She's not the only nutjob who works in opera.
- Leesa has a pretty face. Probably used to getting her own way all of her life.
- Her Pinterest is awesome. Seems to like order. A little ocd?
- so has this cunt been shunned by all?
- [quote]The Chipped Cup has a facebook page if you want to message support for them
I'll go you one better, R22. I live 3 blocks away and walk past it every day as I go about my business in the neighborhood. Not much of a coffee drinker, so never thought about going in there before, but just because of this story, I will stop in tomorrow and buy a cup just to show my support (and maybe even on a regular basis, at least for a while anyway).
So sick of fucking bigots (and that includes you, R2).
- R22, I don't know why DL's system did that in my post but I was not calling you a bigot but the second poster in the thread.
- We all have coffee shops in our areas that are somewhat or pretty much like the Chipped Cup. It doesn't take so much to find out where they are and notice that they're in our very own neighborhoods so we can buy a nice cup of coffee or tea when we walk or happen by.
Sicknesses like this woman's should only make us prouder or more considerate to patronize such shops.
- How you like our agenda now, Leesa?
- Leesa Dahl has the SADZ today!
- I don't think R2 should be called a racist etc.
Harlem is traditionally black and hispanic. Since the comments (crazed or otherwise) are all, or predominately, white, there is a glaring lack of "neighborhood" response.
Just a bunch of 'pioneers' moving out the longtime residents. Like Little Italy, like Brooklyn. Same old shit
- [quote] Leesa has a pretty face. Probably used to getting her own way all of her life.
Have you seen the rest of her?
- [quote]yes [R35]. It is shocking that out of 8 million plus people, there is one asshole making a fool of themselves over something beyond their control. Just as it is shocking that someone from a flyover state would use the opinion of one person to determine what 8 million more really think.
The population of the U.S. is over 300 million so you don't own much of it. As long as you ultrasophisticated DL New Yorkers label the rest of the country as flyovers who are to blame whenever some idiot does something crazy, you're going to get it back.