Citizen
INDY Week columnist Bob Geary's Raleigh news & politics blog

Archives | RSS

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No kissing at Cameron Village? Or no kissing if you're gay?

Posted by on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 6:04 PM

HRC-Logo.jpg

[Update 10/15: Cameron Village has apologized. You can read it here. (Much the same as geekypoet's response in the comments below from Regency, the shopping center firm that owns CV.]

I'm pretty sure they're not anti-kissing at Cameron Village, Raleigh's oldest and usually up-to-date shopping center. On the CV website, note all the hugging couples.

All hetero- couples, however.

What about gay couples?

***

I heard about this incident last night — third hand. Now come the details:

A lesbian couple say that they were cuddling a little on a bench at CV yesterday after lunching at the Flying Biscuit Cafe. A peck on the cheek. A brief kiss. They were approached and asked to leave by a security guard. After some discussion with that guard and a second one, in the course of which the two women ascertained that they were being asked to leave not because they'd kissed but because they were of the same sex and kissed, they did leave.

They've issued a press statement today, which I've copied below.

It includes this comment from Equality NC's Ian Palmquist:

“Discrimination is not acceptable — on public or private property,” said Ian Palmquist, Executive Director of Equality NC. “It's time for North Carolina to pass a law protecting against discrimination in public accommodations like Cameron Village, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. All people deserve the right to be treated fairly and equally in their work, their homes, and their daily lives.”

I called Cameron Village for a response and was directed to send an email to York Properties, the management company, which I did. In it, I asked if CV really objects to couples kissing? Also, does it matter that it's a gay couple?

Perhaps this was just a mistake by over-officious guards.

I'll wait awhile to see if anyone gets back to me before I post this.

And two hours later, no response, so I will post it.


***


The press statement in full:

Gay couple harassed, ejected from Cameron Village in Raleigh

Human rights groups say when security guards threw out a lesbian couple for kissing in public, it constituted “legalized bullying”

RALEIGH (Oct. 14, 2010) — When Caitlin Breedlove and her girlfriend went to Cameron Village in Raleigh, all they wanted to do was eat lunch.

What they got was what human rights groups are calling “legalized bullying and harassment.”

After eating lunch, Breedlove and her girlfriend — a lesbian couple — went to sit on a bench at the Raleigh shopping plaza. They exhibited the same signs of gentle affection that any couple does — an arm around the other, a peck on the cheek, a brief kiss.

A security guard aggressively approached them and told them that “being affectionate” was “inappropriate,” and asked them to leave. When the couple asked if they would have been asked to leave if they were a man and a woman, the guard replied “no.”

The couple asked to see the security guard's supervisor, who confirmed that they would be forced to leave — despite the fact that multiple heterosexual couples were exhibiting precisely the same behavior in the immediate vicinity. This is private property, the security guard reminded them. This is private property, the supervisor reminded them, and expressed anger, saying: “You want this to be public, you want people to see what you are.”

“Bullying is just another word for violence, and it is not just one or two bad apples that say this is OK but mainstream culture in general,” said Breedlove. “Regardless of whether Cameron Village is private property or not, no one deserves to be bullied in public, and if we don't stand up and say that all discrimination is wrong we contribute to a society where only some people get to feel safe in living their daily lives.”

Staff at The Flying Biscuit Cafe, where the couple had eaten earlier, supported Breedlove and Ammons. The waiter who served them said she would be happy to make a statement saying they had been perfectly appropriate. The manager and four other staff people came outside to voice their support for the couple, and the manager decided on his own account to go speak to the property manager about the incident and file a complaint. The manager says they will be pursuing the matter further.

“This is a clear example of legalized bullying and harassment, and as a community we have to stand up to discrimination whenever it arises” said Alba Onofrio, a member leader with the social justice group Southerners on New Ground (SONG). “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people have the right to lead full lives, and not have to be afraid to be ourselves outside our own homes. If Cameron Village does not believe in that right for all people, they should be held accountable."

Breedlove also works with SONG as its co-director.

The incident comes on the heels of Monday's National Coming Out Day. Human rights groups say it's especially important now to take action.

“Discrimination is not acceptable — on public or private property,” said Ian Palmquist, Executive Director of Equality NC. “It's time for North Carolina to pass a law protecting against discrimination in public accommodations like Cameron Village, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. All people deserve the right to be treated fairly and equally in their work, their homes, and their daily lives.”

Tags: , , , ,

Pin It

Comments (21)

Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-21 of 21

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Citizen

More by Bob Geary

Facebook Activity

Twitter Activity

Comments

The only fraud going on is the in the republican party....They are all frauds posing as lawmakers.....This state is screwed …

by Tony Dockery on NC Libertarians: Republican anti-voting bill "a nightmare for free elections" (Citizen)

Simply written, yet captures the no nonsense genuine public servant we just lost. Mr. Crowder was a remarkable man, whose …

by George Farthing on Thomas Crowder, longtime Raleigh Council member, died today (Citizen)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2014 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation