Arizona | Phoenix

Booted Lesbians Receive Mayoral Support, Apologies, And Booze

Earlier this week, Andy reported on the interrupted anniversary dinner of Kenyata White and Aeimee Diaz -- two lesbians in Phoenix, AZ, who were ejected from a restaurant in a Sheraton Hotel after sharing a brief kiss. From ABC15:

The couple says they shared a simple kiss and they didn't think anything of it until the manager came up to them and told them to get a room.         

The women said the manager told them other patrons had complained to him. 

"By no means at all were we doing any inappropriate activity. It was a light kiss a kiss that you could give your friends on the lips. It wasn't any make out at all and so we were very puzzled as to why we need to get a room," White said.     

After the manager saw how upset they were they say he apologized and offered them free drinks if they would leave and come back another time.

When the story broke, it broke big. The incident spawned its own Facebook page. Phoenix's mayor got involved, issuing a statement which read, in part:

We fully expect the Sheraton, which also has committed their support to our LGBT community, to work with Equality Arizona and resolve this issue in a professional way with their staff. Let’s be completely clear -- Phoenix is a gay-friendly city and we welcome the LGBT community, not only because it is good business but also because it’s the right thing to do.

All the publicity caused the Sheraton deep shame, or at least deep nervousness, and the restaurant's management contacted the couple on Facebook. From Edge magazine:

The hotel’s representatives eventually reached out to White and Diaz and asked to meet with them and apologize for making them leave.

"We had the opportunity to meet with the couple late (Tuesday) to listen to their story and better understand their view and how they felt," hotel General Manager Leo Percopo said in a statement. "We had a collaborative conversation, and both parties are taking this incident seriously. Together, we have identified opportunities in which both parties can unite and work together to foster diversity awareness."

The magazine reports that the Sheraton's offer for free booze remains intact. Incredibly, it has not been upgraded to an offer for a free meal. 

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  1. "we have identified opportunities in which both parties can unite and work together to foster diversity awareness."

    Come again?

    Am I to believe these lesbians got a lesson on how NOT to offend bigots? What did these gals learn about diversity awareness? That people LACK it?! Gimme a break already.

    Trust me, we are KEENLY aware, but does redneck count as diversity now???

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Mar 3, 2012 8:17:25 PM

  2. Their response is basically, "we're sorry everyone found out and we are going to offer a non-apologetic apology to save face."


    Posted by: Moby | Mar 3, 2012 9:10:12 PM

  3. Meh, I'll take the offer of free booze. Hotel restaurants are usually pretty crappy, but top-shelf liquor is of fixed quality wherever you go.

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Mar 3, 2012 9:24:21 PM

  4. This particular restaurant markets itself as urban/edgy--Its in Central Phx. Nice that they told the ladies they were sorry but i think they were sorry for getting caught. I wont be spending a dime there!

    Posted by: Chicklets | Mar 3, 2012 9:54:38 PM

  5. Those are two good-looking lesbians. This restaurant should be happy to have nice clientele like them.

    Posted by: Rance | Mar 3, 2012 11:04:42 PM

  6. And what Diversity Training will the staff receive? An okay to tell other patrons to STFU & mind their own business??

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Mar 4, 2012 12:15:36 AM

  7. PETE IN SFO - +1

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 4, 2012 1:56:13 AM

  8. Pete in SFO has it completely correct. The hotel personnel should be trained to tell the bigots to STFU.

    Posted by: Tim NC | Mar 4, 2012 7:45:44 AM

  9. This was in Arizona. I've been there.
    The objection was as much to the fact that people whom the christian god put on two different continents for good reason were kissing as much as the fact that they are both women.
    They're deep racists in that State, almost make the momos next door look civilized.

    Posted by: enough already | Mar 4, 2012 7:48:08 AM

  10. Was the same treatment ever applied to hetero couples exchanging a peck on the cheek or a non-tongue-locked kiss? I doubt it.

    Posted by: Robert in NYC | Mar 4, 2012 9:08:05 AM

  11. True, it is in Arizona, as I am, however, the mayor is pro gay as was the last mayor, the blame for this is on the backwards manger more than anything else, I have worked in the hotel biz, and, the training is good on diversity, this churl caved into the many homophobic bigots who live here ie. GOP 'family values crowd,' and, instead of free drinks, they should have been told he was suspended for a week or two without pay.

    Posted by: Sebastian | Mar 4, 2012 9:45:30 AM

  12. When are we going to read the article about the manager hearing the complaints of the offended inviting them to pay their bill and leave in the middle of their dinner?

    Posted by: Book 7 | Mar 4, 2012 10:32:11 AM

  13. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Earns Top Rating On The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index...

    Starwood being the parent owner of Sheraton, and kudos for their treatment of their employees, try not to judge the entire chain too harshly because they really are trying to overcome the hate and prejudices of their own employees.

    If you can contact them and express your feelings about this Phoenix incident please tell me how because there is no "CONTACT US" button at their website. I want them to know that I and we are pretty upset and nothing gets under our radar, and at the same time thank them for their employment policies that are so inclusive.

    I think this was a case of one rotten apple spoiling the whole bushel, next time I am in Phoenix I may hire some arm candy to plant a big wet one on me and see what happens.

    Posted by: Markus | Mar 4, 2012 11:24:28 AM

  14. BOO!!! My partner and I will never stay at a Sheraton Hotel again!

    Posted by: GRivera | Mar 4, 2012 1:51:42 PM

  15. I blasted them on Facebook and everywhere else I could find. I spread the word about their hatred, homophobia, and mistreatment of two lesbians, and I heard back from the restaurant and the Sheraton Hotels. Both apologized and said that they were doing whatever they could to make sure this doesn't happen again.

    Now they know. And if there is a next time, the response will be that much quicker and efficient. This is how we move the ball people. I still believe the manager should be let go.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Mar 4, 2012 2:21:43 PM

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