Gay Slurs | Texas

Same-Sex Kiss: Prelude to a Diss

7.8.09_abc_7_screenshot Two men who kissed at one of five Chico's Tacos restaurants in El Paso, Tex., were kicked out by guards—and local law enforcement supported the ejection, citing non-existent laws regarding homosexual conduct in public.

The men and three friends were asked to leave after the kiss when security personnel told them they didn't allow "all that faggot stuff" in the establishment, according to Carlos Diaz de Leon, a member of the group.
The men refused to leave, instead calling the police. One hour and multiple slurs later, police arrived and one officer told the men same-sex kissing is illegal in public, and that they could be arrested. (The Supreme Court needs a better publicist—they threw out Lawrence v. Texas six years ago.)

Chicos-tacos Outrageously, Detective Carlos Carrillo said the restaurant had every right to "refuse service to whoever they don't want there. That's their prerogative." The irony was apparently lost on him.

In 2003, the chain's fiftieth anniversary, the Texas House of Representatives honored the family who founded the business.

Some mostly encouraging local reactions here. Contact info and way to "review" Chico's here.

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  1. They have security at Chico's? Note to self: Never eat at a restaurant that has security at the door.

    Posted by: Brandon K | Jul 10, 2009 2:38:20 PM

  2. While I agree the beginning of this situation was in great error, you have to give the city of El Paso credit for stepping forward and making things as right as possible.

    The officer that arrived made several mistakes -- i.e. the right of a public place to refuse service, and homosexual conduct being illegal. His supervisor made some mistakes -- saying that the cafe had a right to refuse service, and that they could have been charged with tresspassing.

    The city council confronted the chief of police and he issued a statement within days that stated that his officers were wrong. He went on to say that it is illegal to discriminate in a public place because of sexual orientation according to city law. Furthermore he said the men could not be charged with homosexual conduct.

    While the beginning is bad, the ending seems to be much better. Hopefully soon the eating establishment will step forward and admit their wrong and discipline the security staff -- i.e. firing that agency and finding another. Third hopefully this will educate the people of El Paso -- and more cities we can only hope, that men can kiss in public, like their heterosexual counterparts and it can be appreciated for what it is -- loving affection.

    Here are the articles that pertain to this developing story. (story filed 7/8) (Story filed 7/9) (Story filed 7/9) (Story filed 7/10)

    Posted by: Marlin Bynum | Jul 10, 2009 2:39:07 PM

  3. Worth noting: There's no currently-proposed legislation which have stopped this. The Civil RIghts Act protects against discrimination in employment in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on race or religion; ENDA extends only the employment protection to LGBTs. We may want to start thinking about what other law changes we need to push for once ENDA passes...

    Posted by: mcc | Jul 10, 2009 2:40:27 PM

  4. usually my irony-detector is pretty sensitive, but i'm not picking up on it here. what was ironic, exactly? was it because the police officer was essentially denying service to the kissing patrons, which is not his prerogative?

    Posted by: le_sacre | Jul 10, 2009 2:45:08 PM

  5. Come on yall. Giving this place bad ratings because its homophobic isnt going to deter a lot of straight business. Lets give it a REAL review. Like this:

    Chico's Tacos has to be one of the worst 'Texican' eateries I have patronized. First of all, their service is not where it should be, and secondly their food is very low-quality.

    I visited the restaurant for the first time a few weeks ago, but was highly dissatisfied with their 'customer service' if you could even call it that. They were highly rude and unprofessional, and their uniforms looked like they hadnt been washed in ages. I heard one of the employees even use a racial expletive which was, again highly unprofessional.

    It took at least 10 minutes to get our food because the employees were not really paying attention to their jobs. The manager was there but he was mainly concerned with flirting this this underage female employee (she couldnt have been out of high school yet). I just have the say the whole experience was revolting.

    Regardless of all of that, our taco's were dripping in grease, and ended up getting it on my new shorts, and they were ruined. I had heard that the food was really good, but I could hardly even eat it because of the grease. One of my friends taco's was mainly just bread almost no veggies or meat inside.

    I rate this place with a big fat ZERO. I only put 1 because they was the lowest it would go. These people are racists, and have no work ethic. I dont see how this place is still in business.

    HAHAHA - Thats what I call gay power!

    Posted by: Drew | Jul 10, 2009 2:48:58 PM

  6. Fulfill all your wishes
    with my taco-flavored kisses!
    Taco taco.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 10, 2009 2:54:33 PM

  7. "He went on to say that it is illegal to discriminate in a public place because of sexual orientation according to city law. "

    Wow, I didn't know that. Way to go El Paso.

    Posted by: mcc | Jul 10, 2009 2:57:51 PM

  8. I'm gonna say this at the risk of getting a shit storm of hate launched my way...

    Homo's should be able to kiss each other where ever and when ever they want. God knows me and my boyfriend do. But #1 this happened in Texas. Seriously, use your head. #2 it happened in EL PASO, Texas. I won't say they were asking for it. But think about it. They had to know some one was going to have a problem with it. BUT, what SHOULD happen is that they should get every homo they know to visit this lame fucking joint on the same night and all start kissing. Let's see law enforcement do something about THAT.

    Posted by: JR | Jul 10, 2009 2:59:07 PM

  9. Well. This is one reason I don't step foot in most of these shit hole towns in the south. Why would some one in their right mind want to live in this kind of environment?

    Posted by: jtramon | Jul 10, 2009 3:18:18 PM

  10. I've been to 47 of the 50 states and Texas is one of the most racist and homophobic of them. My best friend lives in Dallas for over 15 years and I told him I'd visit him anywhere but there.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Jul 10, 2009 3:19:27 PM

  11. Yeah I was going to bring up the fact that Lawrence v. Texas does not allow gays to kiss in restaurants and not be refused service. The restaurant was well within its right to refuse service for it. Sad, but true.

    Posted by: Alex | Jul 10, 2009 3:32:52 PM

  12. Good for the El Paso city council in stepping in. I wonder how the publicity suits the owners of this fine little hell hole of a restaurant? Looks like a flourishing little place, doesn't it? The place to go for fine cuisine? The comments about grease somehow seem apropos? And the city cop? Doesn't it feel great to have your ignorance of your own job displayed on the national media like that? Kind of like the moron DPS trooper a few years ago that stopped a gay couple from kissing on the capital grounds in Austin - and ended up having a judge order him to take remedial training in what the laws of Texas actually said. All without pay, by the way.

    Wonder if that judge is still available.

    The business is well within it's right to refuse service to everyone, just like it's our right to plaster them all over the news. Fair trade, but I wouldn't want to have made this bargain if I owned that business!

    Posted by: Craig | Jul 10, 2009 3:47:54 PM

  13. There is no state protection for gays in TX, so it depends on city ordinances. Refusing service depends on whether you are part of a protected class and whether your behavior violates local norms. They were not asked to leave because they were gay, but because they were kissing. There is a fine line here in the law and it depends on precedent. Cops can say whatever they want, but they must act within the law. If they tell you they you must go because of XYZ and you go, you've left voluntarily--they did not force you to go. They'd have to arrest you for trespassing to for the law to apply--otherwise they are trying to trick you to get the situation under control.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 10, 2009 3:48:48 PM

  14. I agree with JR above! Shit storm or not - YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH YOU ARE STEPPING!!! Yes, in a perfect society everyone, gay or str8, ought to be able to be themselves, but this isn't a perfect society and there are those who want nothing to do with us and will make our lives miserable using existing Laws!!

    Posted by: alex in boston | Jul 10, 2009 3:53:00 PM

  15. There have been so many stories like this recently. I'm 52, live in the [relatively] sane state of Connecticut (with legal gay marriage), but i have to say the preponderance of anti-gay occurrences i've read about in the blogs lately, is troubling. Personally, as late as 2 years ago i had the ''Fbomb" hatefully hurled at me by a 70 year old retired rocket scientist-I kid you not. I REALLY thought that by this point in my life, having endured homophobia for close to 35 years (in every part of the country), that it would be done by now. I thought the 'Age of Aquarius' I heard about when i was 12, would be in full-swing. There comes a point when throwing open one's windows and screaming, a la 'Network," isn't enough. Y'know?

    Posted by: caseyc | Jul 10, 2009 4:00:53 PM

  16. Never eat at such an establishment and encourage others to boycott and Texas is as racist and discriminatory as it gets.

    Posted by: joanna mills | Jul 10, 2009 4:08:08 PM

  17. This story illustrates why we must amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include LGBT people. It protects various minorities against discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation, securing financial credit, etc.

    ENDA only covers employment. Why have we as a community accepted the goal of attaining only a fraction of the federal protections afforded to other minorities? And why have we become so focused on DOMA and DADT instead of broader civil rights protections that would help everyone?

    Right now, there are ZERO federal civil rights protections for LGBT Americans. Your rights depend on where you live and if that city/state passed laws to help you. Don't expect Uncle Sam to care if you're kicked out of a restaurant, denied service or fired from your job.

    There is a movement to get Congress to amend the Civil Rights Act. Sign the petition at

    Read stories about it at:

    Full disclosure: I wrote the articles, and the paper is now defunct. But the topic remains relevant. Pass along the info.

    End of soapbox.

    Posted by: Fed. Civil Rights Now! | Jul 10, 2009 4:11:00 PM

  18. I don't get what is ironic about the guy's statement either.

    Posted by: Jersey | Jul 10, 2009 4:11:43 PM

  19. An interesting note about TX is that all of the major cities, went for Obama in the last election. The state was even considered too close to call for a while.

    It is correct that the current atmosphere in TX is extremely homophobic, but there is a very strong trend in the other direction. It used to be a Democratic state, until the Bushes.

    Patrick - I lived in Dallas for many years. It is an exception. The sheriff is gay. There are several gay city officials. There are city laws on the books prohibiting discrimination against gays. It's a pretty forward thinking city. I don't know what your friend's experience has been, but mine has always been great. Just an FYI. You should at least visit him.

    Ft. Worth, on the other hand. . .that's a different story.

    Posted by: NYCGuy | Jul 10, 2009 4:22:34 PM

  20. MSNBC is covering this story now (4-5:00pm ET) They invite Twitter comments. Let them know what you think:

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Jul 10, 2009 4:26:22 PM

  21. We don't serve coloreds here, nor any fagoots, neithers.

    Posted by: baby jane | Jul 10, 2009 4:38:57 PM

  22. Prepare for lots more incidents like this, and the bar raid and like the bar raid in Fort Worth's Rainbow Lounge and the gay bashings in New York's upper east side after Pride last week, now that all these anti-gay images from Bruno are circulating everywhere, whether on Letterman, Youtube, or worse, the movie itself. I do not understand how a gay site such as this has given so much promotion to all these negative stereotypes about gays. Of course the media and the general culture influences people. This movie is bad news for us.

    Posted by: Drake | Jul 10, 2009 4:52:52 PM

  23. I Love Texas!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: trish | Jul 10, 2009 5:05:05 PM

  24. Drake, I disagree.

    The Bruno movie skewers the publics ongoing ignorance about gays using humor and "punked" type situations. You may not like the style or the actors, but the point of the movie (much like Borat) is to point out real society's misconceptions and horrid homophobia in ways they are not expecting.

    I think a total, massive gay Kiss-in is in order at that shithole resturant, even if only on the sidewalk near it.

    Posted by: Johnny | Jul 10, 2009 5:21:20 PM

  25. I will never eat there again.

    Posted by: Former Chico's Patron | Jul 10, 2009 5:21:26 PM

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