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. Gay Kiss Flash Mob!!!

    Posted by: Former Chico's Patron | Jul 10, 2009 5:22:35 PM

  2. Posting a link to Yelp so people write a disparaging review is bad form. Seriously. Boycott the establishment if you so desire, even organize a kiss-in protest outside the store, but don't encourage people to post reviews of an establishment they've yet to patronize--a violation of Yelp's terms of use.

    Posted by: James | Jul 10, 2009 5:23:19 PM

  3. My guess that detective's comment can be seen as ironic because of his ethnicity?

    this is the last paragraph another commenter linked

    "Federal public accommodation laws which prohibit discrimination, and their local counterparts that extend rights to groups beyond race, religion and nationality, came at a time when signs that said "No Mexicans, no dogs" were common in restaurants and other public establishments in West Texas, Graybill said."

    Posted by: dino | Jul 10, 2009 5:53:12 PM

  4. Drew's comments above were the best as far as good advice on how to f**k this business out of existence! THAT'S the way to do it!

    Good going, Drew!

    Posted by: Mick | Jul 10, 2009 5:56:50 PM

  5. My review of Chico's on yahoo:

    I loves me some good ol' cheap mexican food. So when I was on a road trip to Austin I stopped by Chico's for quick bite.

    Well, the place was filthy. The staff was rude and bascially threw the food at you. The tacos were pretty greasy but what do you expect. I mananged to finish them off and got back into my car and drove off.

    I was just outside of town when I thought I was going to die. I pulled into a gas station and ran to the rest room where I spent the next hour throwing up and crapping. Luckily the attendent of the gas station heard my cries for help and called 911.

    When the paramedics arrived and put me on the strecher one of them noticed the Chico's soda cup I was drinking water from. He yelled to his partner "HEY LANORE, we got another Chico's victim". They rushed me to the nearest hospital where I ended up staying for 5 days. I was so weak when I was released from the hospital, my cousin from Austin had to fly to El Paso and drive me back to Los Angeles.

    I don't think I'll be back to Chico's anytime soon.

    Posted by: Tralfaz | Jul 10, 2009 5:59:53 PM

  6. The fact that its El Paso, Texas and gay people feel they can't express themselves there is exactly the reason why we MUST go there and do things like this. Its not wrong, its an expression of love and we should be able to express ourselves just like anyone else. Change starts by this exact type of action. I won't hide, I shouldn't have to.

    Posted by: Marilee | Jul 10, 2009 6:25:10 PM

  7. El Paso is actually one of the most liberal counties in Texas. Of course, there are homophobic jerks everywhere, so I'm not surprised that this happened. But I don't want people to get a bad impression of El Paso as a whole. It has a good-size gay community that is generally accepted by the whole city. I live in Dallas now, and although there is a large gay community here and there are many gays in local government, I have seen more discrimination here than I ever did in El Paso.

    And it sucks this happened at Chico's Tacos. I loved going there after late nights at The Mining Co.

    Posted by: Melanie | Jul 10, 2009 6:40:25 PM

  8. I think the "irony" comment pertained to the fact that the officer's name - Detective Carlos Carrillo - is obviously Latin. For him to defends the rights of an establishment to discriminate against clientele, he's obviously not thinking about how some parts of Texas (well, the whole country, really) would do just the same against his kind as well.

    Posted by: Pickle | Jul 10, 2009 6:44:20 PM

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

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

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! I couldn't call myself a 'South Park' freak if I didn't catch that hilarious reference!

    Posted by: cMal | Jul 10, 2009 6:47:01 PM

  10. Obviously the police were in the wrong, I'm not sure what these guys were expecting by calling the police. A taco escort? An arrest for a verbal slur?

    I can see getting very pissed off (though I wouldn't be kissing my BF in an El Paso fast food chain), but I can't see waiting an hour for the police to do...I'm not sure what.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 10, 2009 7:07:45 PM

  11. The best comment from one of the linked stories is that some of the protesters chanted, "no to diarrhea, yes to equal rights."

    Posted by: jt | Jul 10, 2009 7:09:45 PM

  12. Damn that Sacha Baron Cohen!

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jul 10, 2009 7:14:38 PM

  13. Shit hole Texas....secede already.

    Posted by: JachFknTwist | Jul 10, 2009 7:29:49 PM

  14. Gay couple cuffed, cited after kiss near LDS temple in Salt Lake City:

    Posted by: Stenar | Jul 10, 2009 7:33:41 PM

  15. Pickle wins the prize (I'm thinking...a free taco?). I'm actually really bored/annoyed with the tendency among white gays like myself to scream "YOU'RE BLACK!/LATINO!/[insert useful minority]" anytime a gay-rights issue comes up, but in this case it's just too rich to be a Mexican man (just a guess, but he ain't Irish) in fucking Texas and be sticking up for a restaurant's right to refuse service since his argument should explicitly apply to any other nonsensical reason, like, "Get out of my place, YOU'RE BLACK!/LATINO!/[insert useful minority]."

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jul 10, 2009 8:00:08 PM

  16. @ Former Chico's Patron: That makes two of us!

    @ Drew: You were fairly spot-on in your "review" of the restaurant--up until the description of the tacos. The reality is much worse. Instead of grease, these "rolled tacos" are soaked in...wait for it...water! They add a bit of weak tomato sauce to the water and call the horrid concoction "Chico's sauce." They then top this glop with "government" cheese. Lastly, they serve the tacos (either a "single order" of 3 tacos or a "double order" of 6) with green jalapeño salsa in containers similar to thse that come attached to Pepto Bismol bottles. This, of course, is to kill the taste of the tacos. Too bad the Pepto isn't included because that's what you'll need after you eat this slop. The fact that this dump--which is, by the way, a haven for six-footed vermin--is a popular local attraction after an evening of heavy drinking says it all. The rent-a-cops are there to keep order among the thugs that flock to this rat's nest because the fare is dirt cheap. The low prices reflect the quality of the ingredients, especially the "meat" (is it a coincidence that one of the restaurants is located between a zoo and a cemetery?).

    Anyway, that is Chico's Tacos "cuisine" for you. The restaurant should definitely be boycotted until a formal apology is made to the five young men who were publicly humiliated without the restaurant's staff lifting a single finger to intervene. That was simply passive-aggressive homophobia.

    Even after the apology is made, El Pasoans should continue to boycott the dive for its substandard slop, which has contributed significantly to the city's obesity problem. What a nasty, filthy place.

    Posted by: Superman | Jul 10, 2009 8:19:39 PM

  17. Only morons would watch Brüno and have it bolster their prejudices against homosexuals and think it gives them a right to discriminate against LGBTs.

    Morons that would be doing it even without Brüno. People are homophobe whackjobs because of a reason and in 99 out of 100 cases, it's not because some gay person wronged them or they've got any "evidence" that gay people are bad (like the Bruno movie). They are just homophobic because of their upbringing.

    A viewing of Brüno or promo material for Brüno will change much.

    Posted by: Philip Wester | Jul 10, 2009 8:27:25 PM

  18. Nowadays, with the economy in shambles, it will be well worth our while to spend our gay dollars wisely and where they are more than appreciated.

    Posted by: NYSmike | Jul 10, 2009 9:07:32 PM

  19. @ NYSMIKE,

    Yes, hit them where they live. "Don't like our queer asses? Then you must hate our queer ca$h!" No more MR NICE GAY and NO MORE QUEER $$$ FOR BIGOTS. Take your gay money to gay owned businesses.

    Posted by: Wheezy | Jul 10, 2009 10:29:30 PM

  20. @LE_SACRE @JERSEY: Here's a gay man -- and his co-star, a gay icon in her own right -- to help explain the irony of Detective Carlos Carrillo's statement about whom Chico's Tacos can refuse to serve:

    Posted by: Yet Another Mike | Jul 11, 2009 1:01:17 AM

  21. The postings to the local ABC affiliate are frightening:

    Posted by: Jason | Jul 11, 2009 1:16:25 AM

  22. As a gay El Pasoan, I have have never been harassed for kissing my boyfriend in public. Living here I don't feel like I've ever been discriminated against because of my sexual orientation. I also believe that El Paso is, in fact, a very liberal city, especially for Texas. Our county sheriff (who was also the previous chief of police) is gay and won the 2008 election in a landslide. With that being said, I feel like this is an isolated incident and put the blame solely on the security guard(s) and the police officer.

    On another note, the fake reviews of Chico's Tacos seem to be fairly accurate, with the exception that the tacos contain absolutely no veggies whatsoever.

    Posted by: Raul | Jul 11, 2009 5:43:50 AM

  23. As sad as this is. Thank God this isn't a BLACK HOMOPHOBIA ISSUE one that has been reported more than anything in our community.
    We now see someone else doing it!

    El Paso is 85% Hispanic. This goes to show Homophobia knows no race!

    Now lets fight this on all fronts not just Black Homophobia!


    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER | Jul 11, 2009 8:24:43 AM

  24. I wonder how it would have gone down had it been 2 hot chicks kissing instead?

    Yeah, I really don't wonder either...

    Posted by: Travis | Jul 11, 2009 9:53:54 AM

    Im sick of em !!

    Posted by: Tyrell | Jul 11, 2009 9:26:38 PM

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