Ever lean in to give your significant other a kiss on the cheek while you're in public? Maybe even...gasp...a brief kiss on the mouth? If so, don't try it in the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, California. Well, unless you happen to be straight. Then you can kiss all you want.
Daniel Chesmore and Jose Guzman were walking through the Westfield Galleria just as many other couples do--holding hands, kissing occasionally, and just being affectionate. Most shoppers, I'm sure, either didn't notice or, if they did, weren't offended. But little did they know that the mall security was keeping a close eye on them. Apparently security didn't get the memo that it's the year 2013, not 1953, and that gay couples often walk in the open as couples. And so they decided to ask the couple to leave if they would not stop kissing.
Smooching and holding hands may not seem like a big deal, but two men were asked to leave the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, Calif. Saturday for doing just that.Right. They tell any couple to stop kissing. Because we've all seen straight couples ejected from shopping malls for kissing each other, right?
“I kissed him on the cheek. That’s how my boyfriend and I show affection,” said Daniel Chesmore.
Sitting on the couch at 21-year-old Chesmore’s parents’ home in Roseville, he and his boyfriend Jose Guzman, 24, share a few kisses while holding hands.
“This is exactly what we did at the mall on Saturday,” Guzman said.
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.”
To FOX40's credit, they didn't take the mall's word for it and actually engaged in a little journalism. They launched their own undercover investigation of the mall and found that, just as you would expect, plenty of straight couples were walking around showing affection freely. No security guards on their asses, no ejections from the mall. Huh. Imagine that.
FOX40 also notes:
Galleria General Manager Eddie Ollmann would not comment in person, but released this written statement, “Persons that violate the Code of Conduct are asked to leave the property.”This mall's management apparently thinks that nobody will care about a couple of gay guys getting kicked out. The Westfield Galleria Facebook page tells a different story. Please, feel free to add your own posts to their wall. You can also contact the mall at (916) 787-2000.
FOX40 found nothing in the mall’s code of conduct about public displays of affection.
If you're in the Roseville area, there is also a kiss-in scheduled. Let's see security kick everybody out.
This mall needs to know that it's not socially acceptable to treat gay shoppers differently from straight shoppers in the twenty-first century.