Lesbian chef Mirella Salemi has been
awarded $1.6 million over restauranteur Edward Globokar's prayers for
her healing, The
New York Post reported.
“Holy guacamole!” the
Post wrote of the settlement.
Globokar, the former owner of the
Mexican restaurant chain Mary Ann's and Salemi's former boss, held
employee prayer meetings inside the West Broadway eatery where Salemi
worked asking God to heal the workers in the restaurant who were gay.
“He not only threatened her soul, but
he also threatened her livelihood,” said lawyer Derek Smith. “He
thought praying might cure her of her sexuality, but she is someone
who didn't need to be saved.”
Salemi left the TriBeCa restaurant in
2007 after six years of employment.
Jurors awarded Salemi $1.2 million in
punitive damages and $400,00 in compensatory damages.
Employees who did not share Globokar's
religious beliefs were reportedly told that they were looking at
eternal damnation unless they repented.
Ironically, the eatery's first outlet
opened in 1986 in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, which, at the
time, was the city's up and coming “gayborhood,” Edge
on the Net reported. The chain eventually expanded to six
locations, all of which were once owned by Globokar.