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Banning Gay PDAs: The Stealth Anti-Gay Discrimination

Banning Gay PDAs: The Stealth Anti-Gay Discrimination

Public displays of affection (PDAs) — okay for straight people but not LGBTs? You could be forgiven for thinking that after glancing at the news recently.

One gay couple, Daniel Chesmore, 21, and Jose Juzman, 24, say they were humiliated at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, California, on Saturday March 2, when they were reprimanded for an innocent kiss: Chesmore kissed Juzman on the cheek.  The security guard who approached them alleged he had seen them kissing 25 times. They deny this.

Reports Fox40:

When a security guard confronted the couple about it at the Galleria, they began recording.

“If you continue to kiss, you will be asked to leave the mall. Period,” the voice on the recording said. “I counted you guys kissing 25 times. I told you before, we contact any couple [...] about this.”

Whatever you might think about public displays of affection, we can agree that having different rules for same-sex couples compared to opposite gender couples amounts to blatant discrimination.

Fox40 later did an “undercover” investigation and reports that:

FOX40 spotted dozens of straight couples sitting inside of the Galleria, holding hands and smooching, right out in the open. And as the hours passed, not one couple FOX40 witnessed was asked to leave the mall.

Fox40 goes on to say that the mall’s general manager, Eddie Ollmann, released a written statement saying that “Persons that [sic] violate the Code of Conduct are asked to leave the property.”

No public displays of affection provision exists in the handbook, so it is unclear what the manager is referring to. California state law is clear, however, that discrimination against gay people is unlawful.

Perhaps mindful of this, the mall’s administration issued a new statement on Tuesday, saying that the couple was (emphasis mine) “violating the rules and the security officer requested the sexually explicit conduct be stopped. The couple was not asked to leave, because the conduct did stop.”

The Tuesday statement goes on to assure that heterosexual couples would have been asked to leave had they been engaging in “similar conduct.” The mall’s administration flatly denies the couple were discriminated against on grounds of their sexual orientation. However, the mall has so far refused to outline exactly what constitutes “sexually explicit” conduct, and it seems there is a duty for them to state exactly what it was this gay couple was doing that was different from the straight couples who were seen kissing and holding hands during Fox40′s sleuthing.

The matter could also be resolved by the mall releasing its security tapes. Presumably they would show exactly the kind of conduct that, for them, was so egregious. No word on whether that will be happening.

The gay community isn’t buying what the mall is selling on this one, though, and said mall felt the community’s wrath. LGBTs and their allies decided to protest the perceived injustice in this story with a lip-locking frenzy: that’s right, a kiss-in was planned for Saturday, March 9.

This unfortunately isn’t an isolated incident, either.

A young lesbian couple in Texas is this week fighting back after a valentine’s yearbook photo of them holding one another — yes, holding one another — was cut because, apparently, the school administration found it to be an overt public display of affection that is banned under the Northside ISD policy. (The wisdom of holding a Valentine’s Day tribute in the yearbook but not allowing public displays of affection is a different, but certainly salient, issue.)

There’s a fly in the ointment, however. The photograph allegedly raised exactly zero eyebrows when school administrators thought that 16-year-old Felicia Rivera and her girlfriend, Lialani Hernandez, 17, were a straight couple. Hernandez wears her hair long and sweeping across her face. In the photo, which can be seen here, Hernandez’s gender is not immediately obvious.

The administration is denying that there is any discrimination in this case. Fortunately, Rivera’s dad is made of awesome and he is taking the school to task, saying he will buy the yearbook and personally go through it page by page to observe exactly what standard the straight couples were judged by and whether in fact any gay couples made the yearbook. He is also reportedly helping his daughter set up an equality club at  Brennan High School.

Repeatedly we have seen LGBTs being held to a different standard of propriety when it comes to public displays of affection, and it is time this sly anti-gay discrimination is curtailed because it trades on the notion that anything LGBT is by virtue a purely sexual act whereas the heterosexual kiss, operating as the norm, is automatically judged to be inoffensive and wholesome. Anyone who has ever had the displeasure to see straight teenagers hoovering each other’s faces unchallenged can attest this is not necessarily so.

 

Related Reading:

Pope Decides Gay People Aren’t Fully Developed Humans

Gay Couple Told To Lie To Have Their Names Changed (VIDEO)

Gay Couple’s Wedding Photo Used in Anti-LGBT Campaign

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Image credit: Philippe Leroyer.

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188 comments

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9:26AM PDT on Jun 4, 2013

@Past Member :"I don't care.. LGBTs will be tolerated but never accepted. There's a fine line in between those two.."

It's bigots that are in real trouble. We won't tolerate you OR accept you. And when the bigots die off, the sickness you carry will be purged from the world.

Not overnight. But eventually, people that insist that being "gay" is a choice will be looked on with the same amusement as people that insist the world is Flat.

"As mankind becomes more liberal they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality." --- George Washington

10:54AM PDT on Apr 1, 2013

Ernesto, why should someone who isn't Christian read 2 verses of the bible?

8:28PM PDT on Mar 31, 2013

Gays read Holy bible 1a corintians 6: 10 and Levitic 20: 13.

2:43PM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

When will it ever end?

8:04AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

The way it is LGBTs are simply tolerated; many non-LGBTs are benevolent, open minded, charitable towards LGBTs, compassioned, gracious, indulgent, merciful and understanding of LGBTs because we are all brothers and sisters.. But when it comes to acceptance it is a different concept. While tolerance is the moral thing to do, when it comes to acceptance of LGBTs, I have to say, they are not approved by all.. they are only tolerated.. there are still many disagreements between LGBTs and non-LGBTs.
In my case I will respect the choices of LGBTs and will tolerate them because I see them as brothers and sisters; but I am far from accepting what they represent, what and who they are.-




accepting, acknowledgment, acquiring, admission, approval, assent, compliance, consent, cooperation, gaining, getting, go-ahead, green light, nod, obtaining, okay, permission, receipt, receiving, reception, recognition, securing, taking on, undertaking, yes

7:26AM PDT on Mar 21, 2013

Just because you don't "accept" LGBT people doesn't mean they are not "accepted." Many families accept their gay members and their spouses!!

12:19PM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

I don't care.. LGBTs will be tolerated but never accepted. There's a fine line in between those two.. That's the only thing LGBTs rights have won: tolerance.. but not acceptance.-

That's the global position: LGBTs are tolerated but not accepted; LGBTs are accomodated because the laws have been changed to do that.. but LGBTs are not 'accepted', only tolerated.-
And because the world is changing LGBTs have a chance to live in peace because they are simply tolerated.. so, nothing to do with acceptance.- LGBTs are tolerated in the recent years instead of being put to death.. that's the only change there is.

Plitely yours..

11:25AM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

Straight people proclaim they are straight for everyone to know all the time. Some examples: wedding rings, engagement and wedding announcements in newspapers, wedding ceremonies, women going by Mrs., sharing last names, and etc. Why are worried that there might be liars among LGBT? Do you think no one who is straight lies?? I'm sure there are people who identify themselves as LGBT who lie and are confused but that doesn't mean that everyone is.

10:56AM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

@ Heather G.:
-you said: -"A straight man who dabbles in sex with other men can consider himself to be straight, but his wife and his sex-buddy will probably disagree!!".. if that's the case I am never sure that in the LGBT spheres there're no liars or confused individuals not knowing if they are straight or gay or bisexual or trans.. I think we all have the capacity to choose to have any experience, sexual or other.- If you wanna be gay just be gay but, please, don't start yelling it outloud for everyone to know.. so keep it quiet: I'm not proclaiming to everyone I meet that I am straight.- Nobody's business; so for those two lesbians in the mall: just get a room.. and I don't care if they are genetically wired or if you are just lying to everybody about what you are.. just get a room.-

Politely yours..

7:09AM PDT on Mar 20, 2013

Being homosexual is about a lot more than sex, just like being heterosexual is about more than sex. Someone can be celibate, or even a virgin, and still be homosexual, just like virgins and celibate people can be heterosexual as well. If being homosexual was ONLY about sex why would a homosexual couple want to get married?? You don't have to be married to have sex, why not screw and go your separate ways. BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT THE SEX ACT. A straight man who dabbles in sex with other men can consider himself to be straight, but his wife and his sex-buddy will probably disagree!!

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