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    Military-Themed Brewery Wants to Open in a Big Navy Town. An Ex-SEAL Is Getting in the Way

    Military-Themed Brewery Wants to Open in a Big Navy Town. An Ex-SEAL Is Getting in the Way

    , Va. (AP) — A former U.S. Navy who says he shot Osama bin Laden is at the center of a much different fight in Virginia, where plans for a -themed brewery are drawing opposition over his alleged racist and homophobic remarks.

    Robert J. O'Neill has a small ownership stake in Armed Forces Brewing Company and has served as its brand ambassador. His recent social media complaint about a Navy sailor who performs as a drag queen and a police report alleging he used a racial slur are fueling efforts to stop the brewery from opening in military-friendly Norfolk.

    The company, which markets itself with politically conservative ads, has dismissed claims of bigotry and toned down O'Neill's public-facing role. But last month, Norfolk's planning commission recommended the City Council deny permits for the planned taproom and distribution center, which would be only a few miles from the nation's largest Navy .

    The nonbinding 4-to-2 vote came after nearly 800 public comments were filed, many of which opposed the venture. The brewery also failed to get the support of the local neighborhood association, which serves the largely Black community of Park Place.

    The City Council could vote as soon as Tuesday on the brewery's conditional use permits. The company has warned it will sue if the application is rejected.

    In a letter to Norfolk's attorney, brewery lawyer Tim Anderson said the planning commission's vote…

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