There was this gay pair who went and dined in Burger King at the Plaza de los Cubos on Calle Princesa in Madrid. Like any loving couple who didn’t see why they should hide the light of their love under a bushel, they began kissing their way through their burgers and fries.
Two families protested, saying their kids shouldn’t be exposed to such an aberrant same-sex behavior.
The security guard in the fast food restaurant asked the gay couple to stop kissing or leave. The shocked homosexuals stood their ground even though they couldn’t believe this was happening to them, and in a city too whose Gay Pride Week is a global showcase of sexual-orientation open-mindedness.
But eventually, they blinked in the eyeball to eyeball stand-off – which as it turned out was not synonymous with meek and mute acceptance of homophobia. The incident quickly became a trending topic throughout the social networks and one week later, in early December, before Burger King knew what hit them, dozens of gay and lesbian couples trooped to the “scene of the crime” for a kiss-in on a busy Saturday night. Burger King employees applauded.
It is not improbable that the Burger King on Plaza Cubos made history as the first restaurant in Spain to be stormed by a sizeable number of kissing gay couples.
Burger King said on Facebook that the security guard acted independently of the management and that the company went and redressed the transgression at once. It didn’t say in what manner but since then the guard has disappeared from the restaurant where he had worked for years.
For a several days afterward, if you had been at the restuarant you’d have found a gay flag draped ostentatiously over the price list.
Unfortunately homophobic discrimination is not a rare occurrence. Just before the Burger King incident in Madrid Andres Orozco and his boyfriend Travis Player were rudely dumped from a Yellow Cab in Houston, Texas for kissing. Orozco said , “The [driver] just turns back to us and tells us that he doesn’t give gay people rides. And he proceeds to tell us we’re going to hell for being gay (www.abc7news.com).”
That same month (October) a driver of a bus Nº 89 in southeast London told Jack James and his partner: “Don’t do that on my f__king bus or you can get off. It’s my bus, it’s my rules and I don’t want to watch that. It’s disgusting. Get off my bus.”
The couple were thrown out for what James describes as giving his boyfriend “a peck on the lips (www.theguardian.com).”
For kissing momentarily and holding hands gay couple Jose Guzman and Daniel Chesmore were kicked out of the Westfield Galleria, a mall in Roseville, California. The security guard at the mall reportedly told the couple their behavior was inappropriate because of the presence of children (www.gawker.com).
In Madrid some 40 similar homophobic assaults have been reported in the current year.
Note: Topmost photo was Burger King’s own way of falling in with the celebration of Gay Pride Week in California, July 2014
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