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Kiss-In Planned for California Mall That Threw Out Gay Couple


The Westfield mall in Roseville, California, which kicked out a gay couple earlier this week for kissing, is about to see a lot more of it, the Sacramento Bee reports:

Beverly Kearney of Sacramento, an advocate for the gay, lesbian and transgender community, said the initial statement did not appear to be an apology. "It feels to me like it's placating," she said. "As someone said, 'You're not sorry for what happened. You're sorry you got caught.' "

Kearney is organizing the "kiss-in" to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Starbucks at the Galleria. "We're calling it a 'kiss-in' because that's why they were ejected from the mall," she said.

WestfieldKearney was referring to an apology from the mall:

"All of our customers are welcome, and all are welcome equally – including those displaying affection. We do have rules and occasionally our security officers approach customers, inform them of the rules, and ask them to comply. We're sorry for any misperceptions with regard to the incident reported upon yesterday. At Westfield, we celebrate the diversity of our employees, shoppers and community, and will continue to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for all."

Westfield Galleria issued a revised statement Tuesday night, saying that simple displays of affection, such as kissing and hand-holding, are not an issue, but that in this case the couple violated rules that prohibit sexually explicit conduct, and the security officer asked them to stop the conduct.

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  1. They had to know this was coming.

    Posted by: Craig | Mar 6, 2013 6:13:07 PM

  2. Westfield has a number of shopping malls throughout California, if not throughout the west coast. Why are we stopping with just the mall in Roseville? If there was something closer occurring in L.A., I'd be inclined to participate.

    Posted by: Marc C | Mar 6, 2013 6:25:57 PM

  3. Yeah and all the 'straight' couples doing the same 'affection' don't get a lecture. Selective enforcement isn't cool.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Mar 6, 2013 6:26:16 PM

  4. How did the kiss-in go? Update with photos please.

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Mar 6, 2013 6:28:52 PM

  5. A) Show us the rules, in writing -- don't just refer to them vaguely; and

    B) Show us how these rules are equally applied to straight and same-sex couples.

    Otherwise, I call major B.S. on your 'apology.'

    Posted by: Lars | Mar 6, 2013 6:29:38 PM

  6. @ SFSHAWN -- exactly, and the problem is many still see a gay person as "sexually explicit". It's like all these preachers OBSESSED with sloppy anal sex sex sex sex sex... it's not all being gay is about: I've been married 10 years and trust me, it hardly ever is!!! ;)

    Gay people... they're Just Like Us!

    Posted by: Strepsi | Mar 6, 2013 6:40:58 PM

  7. According to Westfield it seems more than simple chaste kissing was involved, e.g.,grinding on each other, feeling each other up, which I assume some people will think is part of kissing.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Mar 6, 2013 6:41:31 PM

  8. How exactly did they violate "rules that prohibit sexually explicit conduct"? I'm sure homophobic mall cops are more common than gay couples behaving sexually explicitly in malls.

    Posted by: Kyle | Mar 6, 2013 6:51:17 PM

  9. There was nothing sexually explicit. If there was, the mall should have no issue releasing surveillance. According to the family of one of these boys, they were out of the house and at the mall for only a few minutes before being apprehended. The mall changed it's story about three times, and they're lying. They're trying to pin this on the gay men and throwing a lot of BS at the wall.

    It's not OK, and they will not get away with it. Daniel and Jose need to sue the mall.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 6, 2013 7:06:07 PM

  10. Funny how the mall changes its story, and upgrades 'kissing' to "sexually explicit conduct" when criticized.

    Posted by: We are Here | Mar 6, 2013 7:08:00 PM

  11. The gay couple should go to court and DEMAND that the mall release surveillance video, which EVERY mall records of their common areas, and if the video isn't produced, or if it shows that the couple weren't involved in sexually explicit behavior, the couple should sue their asses off!

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Mar 6, 2013 7:22:21 PM

  12. Like the Washington florist, this mall needs to be held up as an example of the wrong way to treat customers.

    Posted by: Howard | Mar 6, 2013 7:25:44 PM

  13. *Smooch

    Posted by: beef and fur | Mar 6, 2013 7:41:28 PM

  14. You're idiots.

    Posted by: TG | Mar 6, 2013 7:51:42 PM

  15. "the couple violated rules that prohibit sexually explicit conduct" ...where they fckng?!

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 6, 2013 8:21:48 PM

  16. If Westfield Mall's representatives want to make such claims, they better be able to back them up. They just set themselves up for a lawsuit for defamation of character.

    @TampaZeke: the couple knows what went on. If there was no sexually explicit behavior, they don't have to ask for a tape before suing. They can file a suit and their lawyer will get the tapes in a process called "discovery".

    It's possible that the guy who harassed them lied to his manager. If such a lie leads to a lawsuit, the management is going to be really, really mad at this employee, and he'd probably be fired for cause. I know of cases where a low level security type harassed someone he was prejudiced against, lied to his manager about what happened, with the manager ending up looking like a fool in public as the truth came out. You can imagine how that went over when the employee's performance review was written.

    Posted by: Bill | Mar 6, 2013 8:26:44 PM

  17. I wouldn't rush to judgment over this one either way.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 6, 2013 8:34:09 PM

  18. I am with TampaZeke on the matter of surveillance videos. Every mall has them. The risk of demanding them is what if they show something more than just holding hands and kissing on the cheek? If they do, the mall is probably discussing with its lawyers whether or not to release. If they don't, a discovery process would probably be necessary. "Sexually explicit" is at least somewhat in the eye of the beholder.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Mar 6, 2013 8:52:57 PM

  19. MARC C, Westfield is based in Australia and has 119 malls in Aussie, NZ, UK and USA.

    Posted by: Craig | Mar 6, 2013 8:55:24 PM

  20. @jpeckjr: there is no risk in demanding the tapes when your version of the events is accurate. If anyone knows, it is Daniel and Jose.

    Posted by: Bill | Mar 6, 2013 9:16:19 PM


    Posted by: Michael | Mar 7, 2013 8:12:42 AM

  22. I think a kiss in is a phenomenal idea. Why only at that mall location? Westfield's is huge!

    I think Montgomery Mall in Maryland is Westfield's. I guess what I am trying to say is that if this is done on a national scale as opposed to just a local scale the impact will be much greater and the media would be more likely to pick this up.

    The PR pressure alone on a national scale will Westfield's to fold like a cheap suit.

    Just a thought...

    The people united shall never be defeated!

    Posted by: Javier | Mar 7, 2013 3:24:23 PM

  23. For the Spaghetti Monster sticky appendages! That pseudo apology is so hypocritical it makes you retch with revulsion. If I were round there I would go for the kiss in with my partner, sadly thousands of miles away.

    Posted by: Saythetruth | Mar 7, 2013 5:32:30 PM

  24. I was in the Shopping Center business for over 22 years, and I never worked for any company that had a written "Rules of Conduct for CUSTOMERS" They did have rules of conduct for the Security and Operations personnel with respect to their relationship with Customers in general. Other than "Running Around, or Loud Noises", Customers could do just about anything that made them happy. Showing personal affection to another person was not subject to the Mall's approval.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Mar 7, 2013 10:46:49 PM

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