Fast food, now with police harassment
I just ran across a disturbing article on Advocate.com describing a situation in Texas in which a security guard at a fast-food chain reportedly asked two men to leave for being gay in public. When they called the police, the cop, amazingly, sided with the guards:
Carlos Diaz de Leon and four friends visited the popular Chico’s Tacos chain in Montwood for dinner late on June 26, when security guards at the establishment noticed two of the men kissing and said the behavior meant they would have to leave. de Leon called the police, who sided with the security guards, citing a state law against homosexual activity that was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.
Section 21.06 of the Texas penal code, which was overturned by the high court, said a person commits an offense if he or she engages in deviant sexual intercourse with a person of the same sex. de Leon said his two male friends briefly kissed on the lips.
The article says a police spokesperson called the responding officer a rookie who misinterpreted the law, but the security firm, All American International Security, stood by its employees’ actions.
What a nightmare of a situation. I have no doubt at least some of my readers will wonder why these men don’t move to a more liberal state; I’ll admit that thought crossed my mind as well. But why should they have to leave a place they live, work, and perhaps were born, simply because other people have a backwards view of the law?
To me, this story underscores the need not only for progressive law, but for wide-reaching social education. This type of incident should never occur, and the fact the law actually was in the couple’s favor makes it all the more unfortunate in an age when anti-gay laws are being passed left and right. The fault here lies not only with the security guards and the police officer, but also the restaurant workers and patrons who watched and did nothing. Gay people exist, and there’s nothing illegal or immoral about us being true to who we are.