A little PDA, public display of affection, apparently pissed-off a mall cop who threatened the couple with eviction and now the mall is about to get hit with a kiss-in.
You’re being watched
A security guard at Westfield’s Roseville Galleria asked two gay men that had been holding hands and planting little cheek pecks to leave the premises last Saturday. The security officer mentions that he counted 25 kisses between the couple, which leads me to wonder:
- Is there a maximum kiss count?
- Why was he counting the kisses?
- Was he following the couple around the mall?
The ultimate non-violent protest…kissing
The selective enforcement of the mall’s code of conduct inspired Beverly Kearney to create a Kiss in!!!!! Roseville Galleria!!!!! Facebook event. Slated for Saturday March 9 at 11:00 am, the protest hopes to bring awareness to the fact that LGBTQ couples have as much right to display a little affection in public as opposite sex couples. View short Storify post.
Not only out, but kicked out
The story of Daniel Chesmore and Jose Guzman being informed they would have to leave if their affectionate conduct did not cease in the Galleria was first reported by a local TV station. While comments on the stations website were mostly in support of gay couple, there were a few that represented the more conservative bent of the south Placer County area.
Since creating the Kiss In event, over 100 people have expressed their intention to attend and many more have lent moral support through on-line posts. A particularly salient comment was made about taking the issue to the retailers and not the mall management. While Westfield owns the structure and controls the right to pass on their property, it is a marketplace where consumers spend dollars with the retail tenants. Mall management will listen to the concerns of the retailers if the tenants feel the selective enforcement of the “code” reduces traffic and sales.
I’m easily offended
But what about the enforcement of the “code” for all the other mall patrons. It was reported that, gasp, young same-sex couples were also holding hands and occasionally seen kissing. More important is that I not be offended by slow mall walkers laden with shopping bags, the heavily scented, intimidating people with tattoos (unless I approve of the tats), toddlers running around unattended, kiosk vendors accosting me to buy their trinkets, and the embarrassing scolding some parents give to their children or spouse.
Sanitized for your protection
Goodness, there must be a whole binder full of code infractions that mall security could be enforcing. If they completely sanitized the mall to the satisfaction of an over zealous security guard and clueless mall management, would they have any shoppers left?
The joy of (fill in the blank)
As I get older, I get a little bump of joy at watching other people be happy. If you can’t have your heart warmed by little children playing, families having fun shopping together or seeing people in love, then maybe you have no heart. Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) are part of America. Even the San Francisco Giants have set aside a special night to celebrate those folks not in the mainstream of our communities. Golly, a mall cop would have a heart attack trying to kick out all the folks kissing at the Gay Pride Night in the Giants stadium.
So what is a little kiss and hand holding among friends? Believe me; children are exposed to far worse with bullying at school and violence on television. An occasional public display of affection reminds all of us that we human and we can choose a path of tolerance and inclusion over stereotypical perceptions of our neighbors.
Have you hugged a stranger today!
As a matter of fact, you don’t have to LGBTQ to participate in the Kiss In. (Well, I guess that only leaves straight folks, duh.) Show up to the Kiss In protest to show your support for love in public. Yes, I said love. You can hold hands or hug a perfect stranger, kissing is optional. Maybe love in the mall will catch on. How crazy would it be if the Roseville Galleria had an out break of good feelings and smiling between total strangers? You know, I think there is a security guard that needs a hug from me on Saturday.