Gay Rights activists are protesting the handling of a dispute at a Chico’s Tacos restaurant in El Paso, Texas. When two gay men kissed, the group of five gay men were reportedly told by guards to leave because the restaurant did not approve of “the faggot stuff.” An El Paso police officer later allegedly told the men that they could be arrested for kissing another man in public.
The police were called at 12:30 a.m. June 29 when the guards spotted the same-sex kiss. An officer told them that it was illegal for men to kiss in public. It is not clear whether it was because the officer believed that the state had proceeded to secede as announced or was ignorant of the law — particularly the decision in Lawrence v. Texas.
El Paso police Detective Carlos Carrillo was hardly reassuring — noting that the more appropriate charge for what happened at Chico’s Tacos would probably be criminal trespass. He said that the business had a right to refuse service. However, the city has passed an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis gender identity and sexual orientation in public places.
It seems that the El Paso police may need a refresher on the laws that they are enforcing.
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