Hundreds stage ‘kiss-in’ after Calif. mall ejects affectionate gay couple
ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Hundreds of gay rights advocates staged a “kiss in” and peaceful protest at a Califonria mall on Saturday where just one week earlier, a gay couple said they were ejected for holding hands and kissing each other.
An estimated 250 people gathered at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, Calif. to protestthe March 2 incident.
A gay couple participates in a “kiss-in” protest at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, Calif. on Saturday.
“We have every right, just as everyone else does, to feel comfortable in our own skin, loving our partners,” said Robert Woodward, who attended the event titled “Love is Love.”
Last week, Daniel Chesmore, 21, and Jose Guzman, 24, said they were confronted by a security guard at the mall and asked to leave after the couple exchanged a kiss.
The couple recorded the security guard, who told them, “If you continue to kiss, you will be asked to leave the mall. Period,” the voice on the recording said. “I told you before, we contact any couple, any couple [...] about this.”
But in a follow-up investigation, KXTL-TV said it spotted dozens of straight couples sitting inside of the Galleria, holding hands and kissing in public, and as hours passed, not one couple was asked to leave the mall.
Westfield Mall initially apologized for the incident on Tuesday, but later defended the guard’s actions, saying the couple’s “sexually explicit” behavior violated its code of conduct.
On Friday, mall management released a third statement, noting that it was “exploring new and constructive ways to partner with leading, local LGBT organizations.”
On Saturday, Keith Kaplan, the company’s vice president of development, told attendees at the kiss-in that “everyone is welcome here at Westfield,” and that the mall welcomed the event.
“We are happy they are here. We want everyone to enjoy themselves here and feel comfortable,” says Stephanie Ringey, a Galleria spokeswoman.
Organizers said they were glad the mall allowed the protest to occur.
“Westfield has made efforts to correct the action,” said event organizer Beverly Kearneytold KXTL-TV. “But I hope that every person who has heard this story will stand up and fight for equality.”
Last month, a Fairfax County judge tossed out a lawsuit Liberty Counsel brought against the county’s school board in an attempt to reverse protections for transgender students and staff. The Christian legal organization said then they planned to appeal it, and that’s exactly what they have done. Libery Counsel filed an appeal of the judge’s decision [...]March 24, 2016
- Prev TedonTop: FASHION AND THRIFT
- Next REPORT: Parenting study Flawed, Used to Manipulate DOMA and Prop 8 SCOTUS Cases
- Back to top
- Missouri “religious freedoms” bill fails to pass House committee
- NCAA wont host championship games in states with discriminatory laws
- Gay vulture couple adopt abandoned egg in second European gay-bird story this month
- Community members and providers gather to address LGBTQ refugee needs in Central VA
- With ‘Lemonade,’ Beyoncé slayed the game, yet again