El Paso Restaurant Guards Release Statement Calling Kissing “Lewd Behavior”

Jim Burroway

July 11th, 2009

About 100 people protested outside the Chico\'s Tacos restaurant in El Paso, Texas (Ruben R. Ramirez/El Paso Times)

Two of about 100 people protesting outside the Chico's Tacos restaurant in El Paso, Texas. (Ruben R. Ramirez/El Paso Times)

It looks like a kiss is still a very radical act. The security firm hired by Chico’s Tacos has responded to the uproar over the five men who were kicked out of the El Paso, Texas restaurant after two of them kissed. It turns out that kissing is now lewd behavior:

The security company’s general manager, Robert Gamboa, released a statement Friday that said the guard encountered eight men, not five. The statement said the men were disruptive and caused a disturbance when the guard approached them.

“While at their seats, two members of the group did proceed to engage in kissing and other lewd conduct,” the statement said. “It wasn’t until another member of the group started to dance around in the aisle like a ballerina, that our officer approached them and asked them to settle down or they would be asked to leave.”

Carlos Diaz de Leon, one of the five men kicked out is described at being appalled at the statement. He insisted that there were only five men in the group and that no one was dancing. “That security company is ridiculous,” he said. He led a protest by about a hundred people in front of the restaurant Friday.

El Paso has an anti-discrimination ordinance which prohibits, among other things, restaurants from refusing to serve anyone based on sexual orientation. But that didn’t stop private security guards hired by the restaurant from ordering the men to leave after two of them kissed, saying that “faggot stuff” wasn’t allowed. Both parties called police, but instead of enforcing El Paso’s anti-discrimination law, officers threatened to cite the men with violating a statute prohibiting “homosexual conduct,” saying that kissing was forbidden in public. An EPPD spokesman later compounded the problem by saying that the couple could have been charged with criminal trespass.

The ACLU is calling for an official inquiry into the reported anti-gay discrimination, as well as the response by the El Paso Police Department.

Regan DuCasse

July 12th, 2009

How come so many people get hallucinations around gay folks? Casual affection is seen as ‘lewd behavior’ and practically having sex in public.

Right.

This would be funny if the police weren’t called, and the police themselves weren’t also hallucinating.

Police officers don’t appreciate being called out for frivolous reasons. They DO have better things to do and real criminals to observe, arrest and harass.
You know, like GANG MEMBERS and DRUG DEALERS that menace all manner of citizens, especially children, on our streets anywhere in America.
Police officers also are supposed to have a keener discretion regarding criminal and dangerous behavior.

The restaurant itself should have been cited for calling out the police on a non incident and creating a ruckus over nothing against it’s customers.

The El Paso police and those officers in the Ft. Worth bar incident should be embarrassed that they aren’t putting their energies into rousting and catching the kinds of bad guys I mentioned.

They aren’t worth their badges if this is how they show how tough they are on crime.

mike/

July 12th, 2009

if that is their policy, and interpretation of “lewd” conduct, they better be throwing out straight couples that kiss! even if it’s a peck on the cheek.

why hasn’t anyone heard from the restaurant either, at least as far as i’ve been able to find?

and the police need to do something more important than the usual “sensitivity” training. they have a bigger problem with their officers and personnel not knowing the laws!

“hey, let’s make ’em up as we go along…!”

ravenbiker

July 16th, 2009

The next tinme I see straight couples dancing and kissing in public, I remind them to get a motel room.

Kissing? Lewd? Puh-lease! I say these security guards feared being turned on by seeing the act!

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