El Coyote Says Goodbye to a Sweet Lady
Many of my readers may remember Marjorie Christoffersen, the woman who was targeted by gay marriage activists for her $100 dollar donation. Marjorie resigned from her position at the El Coyote Restaurant rather than bow to pressure from gay activists to renounce her faith and belief. See part one of Marjorie’s ordeal here: Gay Rights Vigilantes Strike El Coyote.
A friend of mine who attended Margorie’s church yesterday sent me this email just as the news of her resignation broke:
“Our family attended the Wilshire Ward this morning to witness the blessing of my new baby nephew. While in that fast and testimony meeting, we had the unique opportunity to hear the testimony of Marjorie Christoffersen (El Coyote Restaurant). She expressed gratitude for all of the members of her ward and the church, who have been supportive of her since Prop 8. She specifically stated that she was grateful for this trial and that she was doing her best to find the joy in it all. But, what struck me the most was when she said that she hopes she has not disappointed any of us (meaning the congregation and larger, the church members as a whole). I was thinking that each month we sit in testimony meetings often hearing of people whose lives have been changed and even blessed because of their trials. And that sometimes we know of the trial that member is referring, and sometimes we don’t. But it made a distinct impression on me that in her case, her trial has been so public. That she has been made a sort of “example” (for lack of a better word) of what so many of us were feeling privately. I am no scholar, but I can’t think of anyone in the recent history of our church, whose trial has been almost a modern day scripture account. By that, I mean that by simply following the prophet, she has been publicly persecuted and no doubt has had to do an unfathomable amount of prayer, soul searching, etc . It was an inspiring testimony and it was a joy to feel of her spirit.”
Kudos to you Marjorie for standing for something you believe in, and for not backing down.
BY CHRISTOPHER LISOTTA
Frontiers magazine learned Saturday Marjorie Christoffersen is stepping down as a manager at the Los Angeles restaurant El Coyote. Bill Schoeppner, a fellow manager at El Coyote who has been with the restaurant for 26 years, told Frontiers Christoffersen was also resigning as a member of El Coyote’s board of directors.
“She no longer works here,” Schoeppner said on Saturday. “She just told me tonight.”
Christoffersen created a firestorm of controversy for the 77-year-old L.A. institution after local blogs broke the news she had donated $100 to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign. Long a popular destination for the LGBT community for its cheap Mexican food and generous Margaritas, El Coyote found itself the target of boycotts and demonstrations after Christoffersen’s donation went public. In a press conference hosted by the restaurant days after the news of the donation broke, Christoffersen tried to explain her donation did not have to do with animus for gay and lesbian people, but was instead tied to her Mormon faith. Christoffersen did not apologize for the donation and did not indicate she would support any No on 8 organization. Boycott organizers and demonstrators were not impressed, and have argued online and in the local news media that Christoffersen’s support for the ban of same-sex marriage was reason to shun El Coyote.
Schoeppner said Christoffersen tended her resignation to her mother, Grace Salisbury, who is described on the El Coyote Web site as the “matriarch” of the restaurant. Salisbury’s sister-in-law founded El Coyote in 1931.
“Everybody is kind of used to her walking around the restaurant with a water pitcher going from table to table to table,” Schoeppner said of Christofferson. “I guess that part is no longer going to exist.”