“We couldn’t believe it,” Jamie (not his real name) said looking back on the night of November 29 at a Burger King in Plaza de los Cubos, downtown Madrid. He wasn’t talking about how good the fries were or how cheap their dinner was, but rather the awful way they were told to leave the fast food restaurant.
The two teenage lovers, ages 18 and 19, shared an innocent kiss at around 9:45 p.m. in the shop. A security guard approached them and told them that they, “couldn’t do things like that” because, “there were children around.”
Apparently two families had complained that the boys were setting a “bad example” for their children, and the blatant discrimination is something the two won’t soon forget.
A married couple tried to intervene, saying the boys had every right to be there, and that prompted debate from the customers who had complained.
In the end, they left. They didn’t want things to escalate even further.
Word of the incident spread on social media, and a week later, Arcópoli, a Madrid-based LGBT rights group, enlisted dozens of same-sex couples to flood into the Burger King to hold a kiss-in.
Store employees applauded, and Burger King corporate responded by putting out a message that “the security guard had acted on his own initiative,” and explained that the company has a “policy of zero tolerance toward any kind of discrimination, and, having learned of the facts, took immediate action to deal with the incident.”
No word on what that immediate action was, but the store’s manager has invited the couple back so he can apologize to them in person.