PHOTOS: Couples Stage Kiss-In Supporting Boyfriends Booted From CA Mall

PHOTOS: On Saturday, LGBT couples and straight allies gathered at the Westfield Galleria in Rosevilla, CA, to show solidarity with a gay couple who were asked to leave the mall after a security guard saw them kissing and holding hands.

Some 250 people—including members of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center, the local PFLAG chapter and the Gay-Straight Alliance of Del Oro High School—danced, held hands and kissed at the “Love is Love” event, which was approved by mall management.

Reports Roseville Patch:

Galleria officials laid out a virtual red carpet for the event-goers providing amenities with servers offering attendees complimentary bottled waters, Mrs. Fields cookies and hot chocolate. They also commissioned an arched-entryway made of rainbow-colored balloons…

“Obviously we are excited about this. It is a great time to work with everyone and host this,” said Stephanie Ringey, Westfield spokeswoman. When asked if the security guard had been reprimanded in anyway, Ringey said that was “out of her area.”

However, she said mall officials are re-visiting their sensitivity training. “[Management] is looking at that and working with the LGBT community to see if there is room for enhancements or additions.”

Last Tuesday, Westfield’s manager issued an apology to the couple—Daniel Chesmore, 21, and his boyfriend, Jose Guzman, 24—saying, “we celebrate the diversity of our employees, shoppers and community, and will continue to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all.”


Photos: Robyn Eifertsen, Ron Williams, Jovi Radtke

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  • Ron Jackson

    Awesome. It sounds like the mall management turned an unfortunate incident caused by an employee and turned it into a positive event. Good for them.


    I think it’s quite ironic that the mall was so supportive now…giving away bottled water and hot chocolate. This “kindness” is nothing more than a public relations stunt. Sorry to say it…

  • Tommysole

    Jesus Christ!
    It is not like they sucking face or bumping and grinding, it was a kiss on the cheek!

  • jar

    The mall successfully undermined the political intent of this demonstration. The protesters should contact each of the tenants (at the national level) to obtain a statement of support on this issue and then present that to the mall. Let’s see how friendly they’d be receiving those statements in front of cameras. The mall should be boycotted for at least six months if not longer, just to demonstrate that some drinks and snacks and a belated written apology are not enough to mollify an angry constituency. The consequences for this type of behavior must be high to serve as a deterrent and warning to others.

  • erasure25 Agreed. But if it leads to concrete action to make sure this does not happen again, then what’s the problem?

  • kurt_t

    I followed this story on the Patch and elsewhere around the internet, and one theme that showed up in the comments again and again was “I don’t want my children to see that.” That is, “I don’t want my children to see a same-sex couple displaying affection.”

    And I ask myself do we really want to live in a world where “I don’t want my children to see that.” is a legitimate grievance? Should I have the right to tell you “Don’t drink Frappucino. I don’t want my children to see that.” or “Don’t wear bicycle shorts. I don’t want my children to see that.” or “Don’t walk down the sidewalk wearing ear buds. I don’t want my children to see that.”?

    Well, OK, if you’re actually competing in an officially sanctioned bicycle race, I’ll give you a pass on the bicycle shorts, but the point is, shouldn’t I have a better reason than “I don’t want my children to see that” for telling you you can’t do something?

    There are people who object to breast feeding in public places on the grounds of “I don’t want my children to see that.” Those people are imbeciles. And usually they don’t have much of an influence on public discourse, right? Because their imbecility tends to speak for itself.

    So I think the next time I hear “I don’t want my children to see that,” I’m going to say “That’s not a reason to do anything or not do anything. Come back when you have an actual reason. Come back when you have an actual grievance. Because right now you’re just babbling like an idiot.”

    I encourage the rest of you to consider following my example.

  • seaguy

    I am not big on PDA and I have seen some queens who are in your face with PDA like they have something to prove or are trying to start trouble so hopefully they were not like that. The guard better have been fired.

  • Yiannis

    @kurt_t: a very good argument!

  • queerty1958

    @kurt_t: Great comment! I’d also like to add: When I’d hear a parent making such a stupid comment [like them & their children the only fucking people that matter], I’d turn to them and say “I don’t want your children hearing such a thing!” :-)

Comments are closed.