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Rite Aid Manager Boots Gay Couple Over Hug

A DC-based gay couple got more than they bargained for during a recent Rite Aid trip:

Jay Hill and Mike Browne went into the store at 13th and U streets NW last Friday to make a purchase, and they embraced as they browsed an aisle. Hill told MW the manager walked by, saw them and did a double take. The manager then asked the security guard on duty to get them to leave. When Hill asked the guard why they were asked to leave, the guard said, “I don’t know, that’s just what the manager said. This is private property so y’all got to go.”

But, seriously, Hill and Browne have a lot of nerve. Hugging? In public?! We’ve never heard or even imagined anything more scandalous and twisted.

Read more about this nasty incident over at Metro Weekly.

On:           Oct 26, 2007
Tagged: , , , ,
    • Rt. Rev. Dr. RES

      What is the US law in retail establishments if any innocent hugging or kissing occurs? Is it private property as the manager alluded to? Does Rite-Aid have a policy? a separate policy for gay and straight customers?

      Oct 26, 2007 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • abelincoln

      Maybe the manager was worried they might cause an epidemic of hugging which could lead to death if someone hugged someone to hard. It could happen. I’m sure that one could find statistics on death by hugging if one Googled hard enough.

      Oct 26, 2007 at 2:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt

      Also, two men hugging in a convenience store aisle could conceivably create a public safety hazard by blocking easy access to exits…

      Oct 26, 2007 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Smith

      You can leave a complaint about this to their corporate office at:


      The address of the store is:
      1306 U St. NW, Washington DC 20009

      Oct 26, 2007 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt

      Thank you, JohnSmith! I shall do so immediately!

      Oct 26, 2007 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon

      We haven’t heard the other side of the story. Why condemn an entire company for what one individual manager MAY have done? In addition, you have to look at the facts, it was 10pm on a Friday night in a gay neighborhood. The guys probably had a few cocktails at the local bar and were having a good time. Maybe they were a little loud and boisterous. I live in West Hollywood and I’ve been in many a store on a weekend and the gays are out of control (me included). Maybe this manager had enough and this was his statement.

      Oct 26, 2007 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jersey

      Cute couple.

      Oct 26, 2007 at 7:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J

      The alleged behavior on the part of the store manager is a violation of DC’s human rights laws. A store may be private property, but it is a public accommodation (this goes back to the lunch counter example in the civil rights movement) and its strictly forbidden under DC law for anyone to be treated differently in a public accommodation on the basis of their sexual orientation.

      I’m really offended by Jon’s comments, esp. his cautioning us against condemning “an entire company for what one individual manager MAY have done.” Nobody has suggested condemning an entire company, but rather writing to the corporate parent about some very concerning facts reported about one of their stores.

      Thanks also, Jon, for the erroneous suggestion that the victims “probably had a few cocktails at the local bar and were having a good time. Maybe they were a little loud and boisterous.”

      If you read the article, the victims had simply had dinner with a professor, who was also with them in the store, and who was also outraged by the store manager’s actions.

      Aren’t facts fun?

      Oct 26, 2007 at 8:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt

      Here’s what corporate said in response to my email on the subject:

      “We are looking into the issue and will address it if the statements are found to be true. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

      Oct 28, 2007 at 6:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sweating Through Fog

      I’m curious what the reaction would be if a group of Catholics decided to go to a popular gay bar, order a few beers, and start saying the rosary out loud.

      Oct 31, 2007 at 11:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike p

      For the manager or his help to ask/tell the 2 guys that hugged that they have to leave the store has to be totally based on the assumption that he thought these guys were gay and that was unacceptable to him. If I saw a good friend of mine (man or woman) in a Rite Aid–or ANYWHERE–it is very likely I would give them a hug; maybe a kiss, too. The manager is very wrong and this is what is unacceptable.

      Nov 1, 2007 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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