Gay Bashing at a Sports Bar: What Do You Do?

"Imagine being a man in this scenario," Keating said. "Sitting at a table and looking over and seeing two men behaving in ways that violate my expectations of what it is to be a man. And now I see someone who is harassing that very couple. What do I do? Do I side with the harasser? Or do I side with a couple who looks like they're really just there for having a good time?"

'That Disgusts Me'

Later that evening, across the bar, two other bar patrons faced the same dilemma but they dealt with it very differently.

Cousins Joey Tulko and William Paltan didn't hide their obvious disgust as they watched St. Amand and Benevento interact affectionately.

Tulko even told our actress Hovel, "It's just sick. ... I've never seen anything like that in my life ... that disgusts me."

Yet, when our cameras came out, Tulko's tune began to change. "I don't care about that sort of thing. ... Whatever, it's their thing," he told "What Would You Do?" anchor John Quinones. "I'm not going to get all nasty about it. ... I didn't care if they were kissing each other."

'They're Not Doing Anything Wrong'

As our experiment continued, we found other headstrong patrons who weren't afraid to confront August, or our gay couple, directly.

Later in the evening, we added one additional twist by telling bar owner Robert DeStefanis to ask the couple to tone down their affections because they were making other customers uncomfortable.

Sharon Steele, a local real estate agent, was out celebrating her birthday with a large group of friends. Even as they all gathered around her and the late-night crowd at the bar grew ever louder and larger, she managed to overhear the demeaning exchange.

"The people that are offended should leave," she told DeStefanis steadfastly. "They're [the couple] not doing anything wrong. ... What are you going to do? Kick us all out? There are 20 of us."

Steele was unmovable, even positioning herself in between the couple and their aggressors.

In the course of our two-day ethical dilemma, we saw a diverse suburban community stand up for a gay couple who was being verbally harassed.

Hate crime laws exist both federally and at the state level to protect victims of crimes based on gender, religion and race. Only 31 states, however, include statutes for victims of sexual orientation bias and there is no federal legislation that protects them. Hate crime laws allow the FBI to intervene in these incidents and also enable the prosecution of these crimes to be more severe.

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