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Update on “Chico’s Five”

Timothy Kincaid

July 10th, 2009

The story of the five gay men kicked out of Chico’s Tacos in El Paso because they were gay has picked up momentum.

National news outlets, civil-rights lawyers from El Paso to Austin, El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen and City Council representatives all chimed in on the Chico’s five.

Also additional information has been presented.

The phrase the security guards used was, “Si seguian con sus payasadas, los vamos a sacar de aqui, no permitimos que anden haciendo cosas aqui de jotos.” Jotos is a pejorative term perhaps best translated as “faggot”.

Mirroring the situation in Ft. Worth, the police tried to defend their discriminatory actions – only making the situation worse.

But El Paso Police Detective Carlos Carrillo defended the officers actions, telling the paper that every business has “the right to refuse service to whoever they don’t want there.”

Well as it turns out, no the restaurant cannot refuse service due to sexual orientation discrimination. (El Paso Times)

Lisa Graybill, legal director of the ACLU of Texas, said a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court case determined that places of public accommodation cannot refuse to serve someone based purely on discrimination and must establish a reasonable basis for turning someone away.

Gay men and women have an additional protection in El Paso, where in 2003 the City Council adopted an ordinance that prohibits restaurants and other businesses from discriminating based on sexual orientation, she said.

Local civil rights groups are upset and some gay people are protesting.

Word of the altercation between the gay men and the security guard spread quickly through El Paso. A text-message and e-mail campaign on Thursday urged people in the gay community and others to participate in a peaceful protest at 5 p.m. today in front of the Chico’s on Montwood. Thursday night, about 35 people protested outside the Chico’s Tacos. Several held signs that read, “Equal rights,” and “I want to kiss in public” and “It was only a kiss.”

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Stefano A
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

Meanwhile…

A gay couple were detained by Mormon security guards after one man kissed another on the cheek on Main Street Plaza in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Police were called, the two were handcuffed and cited for trespassing.

Richard W. Fitch
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

Has any action been initiated by the LGBT community in El Paso to voice their outrage at the response of the security guard and police dept? Post a link/contact here if something has gotten underway. I have been following the Rainbow Lounge raid in FW and a group of nearly 12,000 from around the globe have joined on Facebook to make known that what happened at FW is not seen as acceptable in 21st century America.
[ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=109253439840# ] I strongly encourage all who read here to added their voice in this effort.

Lindoro Almaviva
July 10th, 2009 | LINK

For those interested:

“Si siguen* con con sus payasadas, los vamos a sacar de aqui, no permitimos que anden haciendo cosas aqui de jotos.”

Full translation:

If you keep up with the clowning around we’ll throw you out. We won’t allow you to behave like faggots here.

* the original quote used the word seguian, which is consistent with someone narrating what they heard and not doing a direct quotation. I have changed the verb to the 1st person for consistency.

TomInElPaso
July 11th, 2009 | LINK

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_12814956

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