After a gay couple was reportedly ejected from a mall in Roseville, California for excessive kissing and hand-holding, gay activists are protesting with a kiss-in this Saturday.
Advocate Beverly Kearney of Sacramento has organized a kiss-in at the Westfield Galleria Starbucks at 11 a.m. this Saturday after 21-year-old Daniel Chesmore and his boyfriend, Jose Guzman, 24, were asked to leave when a security guard observed them kissing and holding hands in public.
Westfield’s manager issued a statement about the incident late Tuesday, obtained by The Sacramento Bee:
All of our customers are welcome, and all are welcome equally – including those displaying affection. We do have rules and occasionally our security officers approach customers, inform them of the rules, and ask them to comply. We’re sorry for any misperceptions with regard to the incident reported upon yesterday. At Westfield, we celebrate the diversity of our employees, shoppers and community, and will continue to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all.
The statement went on to say that public displays of affection are not an issue, but Chesmore and Guzman violated rules that prohibit sexually explicit conduct and the security guard asked them to stop. Without specifying that conduct, the statement claimed that the couple complied with the security guard’s request but were not asked to leave.
According to Westfield, similar behavior by heterosexual couples has resulted in the same request to abide by the rules.
In a statement, Shara Perkins Murphy, executive director of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center, said the security guard’s actions were “unfortunately representative of the hate still harbored by many.”
Murphy attempted, unsuccessfully, to speak with Westfield’s manager before commenting publicly, and expressed hope that “the leadership of the Roseville Galleria will engage in real discussion and not blow this off with platitudes.”
Hmmmm, not sure about this. I would like to hear from both sides first. Especially after Westfield’s manager’s statement.
Excellent news, considering there are numerous eyewitness accountsa backing up the couple, there is no evidence in terms of video or actual statements released by the mall to prove they are in the right.
Kudos, I hope it goes well. Great way to make a stand against open discrimination.
It sounds like the mall is trying to clean up what happened. I saw a clip on youtube where a local TV news anchor tried to get a statement from one of the mall’s administrators, but he declined to comment. The anchor also found numerous heterosexual couples holding hands and kissing…but they were not asked to leave.
It sounds like the mall isn’t liking all the negative publicity…
“Blowing them off” is a favorite and famous tack used when the perpetrator doesn’t have a sound answer to evoke. I’d hound this Mall in any way possible to either let them change their ways, or… close the Mall down. Hit them where it hurts… the pocketbooks!
@Dakotahgeo: Like the priest who attacked me as a “violent homosexual subversive Atheist” because I had the audacity to question why he wasn’t convicted for fucking children.
Somehow I was the bad person in this situation, the guy was a kid fucking serial paedophile and he made me the bad guy.
I hate these idiots that try to make being gay a dirty thing. Two guys or two girls holding hands or kissing is not “sexual explicit conduct.” The Mall needs to answer honestly about how many times straight couples holding hands and kissing have been kicked out by security. If they don’t provide a sufficient answer, they need to held accountable in a discrimination lawsuit.
These malls are wall-to-wall security cameras. It shouldn’t be too hard to pull the footage and see who’s telling the truth and who isn’t.
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