Friday, March 16, 2007

Kiss gets lesbian couple thrown out of IHOP &, yes, there out to be a law

By Diane Silver

Tossed out of a restaurant for a little peck? You betcha! It can happen easily if you're a same-sex couple. That's just one of the ways that gays and lesbians lack even the most basic of civil rights.

The latest example comes from an IHOP restaurant in Grandview, Mo., where a short kiss between a lesbian couple lead to a confrontation with the restaurant manager. The report comes from Mike Hendricks in the Kansas City Star.
So later the manager confronted them in the lobby and told them to get out.

The way Blair (Funk) remembers it: “He said, ‘I have to tell you, we’ve had some complaints about public displays of affection, and we’re a family restaurant, we can’t accept it, and we won’t accept it.’

“The way he worded it was like, We don’t accept you.”
This kind of incident and far worse problems on the job are why we need to pass laws protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation. At this time, there are no federal laws protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered citizens. In Kansas, only Lawrence provides citywide protection. In Missouri only a handful of cities have anti-discrimination ordinances.

Right now the Kansas Equality Coalition is pushing for such a law in Senate Bill 163. In Missouri, PROMO is pushing to pass House Bill 819. Hendricks writes that it's time to turn these bills into laws, and I wholeheartedly agree.


Dan Beyer said...

Well I did some investigating of my own. Anymore you have to because if you rely on the Kansas City Star for truth, you're not going to get ALL of the facts from this increasingly agenda-driven and condescending rag. Apparently it wasn't a harmless little inconsequential "peck" or like Mike "There"s no war on Christmas, I don't see it happening at my kid's school!" Hendricks states, "Just one kiss". Many people at the resturant complained not because of a mere "peck"(which by the way Diane, would be absurd as well as totally unbelievable)but the kind of kissing that would get any couple attention from other patrons as well as the management. And also Diane, swallower of the BS the Star shovels out on a daily basis, the couple was NOT thrown out, they elected to leave on there own. Grow up! You looking for conspiracies? They can usually be found under one's nose. I hope you start by opening your eyes.

Diane Silver said...

Hi Dan.

First, let me note that I appreciate you posting under your own name. It's a wonderful and rare thing on the Internet for people to be open! I'm not being patronizing. I mean that sincerely.

Second, I don't buy everything that any rag publishes, whether that rag's in print or online.

Third, I don't see what's absurd about a couple exchanging a "peck" in a restaurant. Call me old fashioned, but I don't see anything unusual about a small kiss between spouses, whether those spouses are a mixed-sex or same-sex couple. I see it all the time. I've done it myself. There's a huge difference between a small kiss and other forms of physical affection.

Finally, the difficult thing is that neither you nor I are eyewitnesses. No one seems to have videotaped the event, so all we have is people's perceptions. The couple thought they were exchanging a small kiss that would be appropriate anywhere. Others thought different, apparently.

What I do know from my own experience is that any form of affection between same-sex couples, no matter how small, is often blown out of proportion by people who are homophobic. The smallest hint of affection can get you beaten up in the wrong part of town. And yes, I once got in a huge verbal fight with relatives because I exchanged a real-live, small peck with my life partner at a family reunion. We thought we were being innocent. They thought we were being flagrant and "throwing it in their faces" that we were gay, yet we did far less than heterosexual couples at the same event.

I do give you points for one thing. You're right. The couple was not physically picked up and tossed out of IHOP. In other words, they weren't thrown out the front door like you'd see in an old western movie. Instead, they were asked to leave. What would have happened if they had stayed? Don't know, but it probably wouldn't have been pleasant.

And can you imagine what it would feel like to be asked to leave a restaurant for no other reason that you are showing affection to your spouse? That certainly doesn't make a person feel welcome.

Did this event happen and did it happen exactly as described in the newspaper? I can't say for sure, but I do know that I and other lesbians and gays have experience discrmiination of all sorts, and that it's long past time for our most basic rights to be protected legally. There's nothing special about that. It's nothing more than simple fairness.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when conservatives get offended about such things that go against our morals and values, we are discriminating against the offender if we say or do anything about it?

Chris S.

Diane Silver said...

Hi Chris S.

Thanks for signing a name. As for your question, my answer is... Perhaps, because you are discriminating?

Here's another answer, and then it's back to work for me: I find much that conservatives do to be offensive. Not only is it offensive, but it goes against my morals and my values, which are based on such things as fairness, compassion and equality.

However, I also believe you have the right to exist and to preach, what to me, is a very immoral theology. (And no, I'm not kidding about that) Despite the fact that I believe your theology is immoral, I don't feel that I have the right to discriminate against you. I'm not going to ask a restaurant manager to tell you to leave for preaching your version of The Bible. I'm not going to say that you don't have the right to believe what you do. I'm not going to attempt to close down your churches or take away your right to marry or to take care of your children.

That's because, like Jimmy Carter, I also believe in the American value of freedom.

I disagree with you, and I want to have the right to say so, but you also have the right to exist, to eat where you want to eat.

Democracy, equality and freedom aren't easy for either you or me, but they are based on an important principle that Jesus preached, and that is compassion. I firmly believe in the golden rule, and because of that, I will treat you as I want to be treated.

Thanks for visiting. Have a great day.

Now, I really do have to work! My boss is a real hard nose. (FYI, my boss is me!)

Anonymous said...

I Just Wanted To Thank You Diane For Posting Your View's On The Incident I'm One Of The Girl's That Was Kicked Out.