Roseville‘s Galleria mall’s Facebook‘s page is getting a fewer thumbs up’s after a security guard ejected a gay couple for kissing and holding hands last Saturday. This local story has picked up a lot of steam and has received national attention. A Kiss-In Protest is planned for this saturday at the mall .
In a written statement from the Galleria management: “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.”
In an revised statement issued 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.
The statement does not specify what that conduct was but says the couple complied with the security officer’s request and were not asked to leave. Similar conduct by heterosexual couples has resulted in the same request to abide by the rules, according to the statement.
Statement from the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center
Westfield Galleria’s treatment of gay customers:
“The actions of a single security guard are unfortunately representative of the hate still harbored by many. But the reluctance of Westfield Galleria to admit that its employee discriminated against gay patrons is a serious concern about which the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center must comment.
The board of directors and I call on General Manager Eddie Ollman to give due consideration to the matter. His less than thoughtful reference to a “code of conduct” has proved to be false. And his reluctance to answer questions from the media—or return calls from my organization—are further evidence of a lack of respect for the gravity of the matter.
We ask General Manager Eddie Ollman to examine his actions and search for a way to respond appropriately and respectfully. We hope that response will include an apology to the individuals discriminated against, an apology to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the community, and a commitment to train himself and his employees in cultural humility. Westfield Galleria would be best served by creating a clear policy on respect for diversity and a code of conduct that implores integrity on the part of staff and leadership.
The Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center supports the spontaneous call for civil, public demonstration. We are communicating with other LGBT community groups and discussing the need for further action.”
Mall management announced that it will “embrace” a “kiss-in” scheduled Saturday in support of the couple.
Start time for the protest is 11am (near Starbucks in the mall) Don’t forget your mints..