image21It all started with a torn throw pillow.

Byron Batista says he dropped off four decorative throw pillows to be professionally laundered at Rosali Cleaners in North Hollywood. When he returned a few days later, three of the pillows had been cleaned but the fourth was torn.

Naturally, Batista complained to the owner. That’s when things got ugly. According to Batista, the owner “blamed me and said I tore them apart all the while running around behind her counter, flipping me off and pretending to stick her finger in her backside.”

Related: Five Disgraced Business Owners Who Learned That Homophobia Just Doesn’t Sell

Batista wasted no time taking the woman to small claims court, where a judge ruled in his favor. The dry cleaner was ordered to pay $75 for damaging the throw pillow.

That should have been the end of things. But when Batista received his check, it was made out to “Byron ‘the buggerer’ Batista.” (In case you didn’t know, Buggerer is an 18th-century term for sodomite.)

“I went back to court and showed the judge,” Batista told Frontiers in an interview. “He sent her out another letter asking her for a cashiers check with the proper spelling.”

Here’s what he received:


And that’s when Batista decided to go to the press with his story.

He says he wants to “let our community know that they should not spend their money there.”

“People like her need to be exposed.”

Related: Business As Usual? How 8 Anti-Gay Companies Are Measuring Up

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