10/15/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
A lesbian couple were expelled from Cameron Village (a mall) in Raleigh, North Carolina by a security guard following lunch. They were expelled for engaging in a public display of affection, something that does not end up having heterosexual couples expelled from the mall. A human rights group is now investigating the matter.
According to Caitlin Breedlove, “We just had lunch at the Flying Biscuit. We were just walking around relaxing, like most couples do.” She and her girlfriend then sat on a bench where “We had our arm around each other, kissed each other on the cheek.” That is when a York Properties security guard approached them hostilely and demanded that they leave.
Breedlove states that “at that point, we asked, ‘Would that be the same if it was a man or a woman?’ Because we see a lot of men and women walking around, holding hands being affectionate and she said, ‘No.’ It’s because you’re same sex, and it’s not appropriate.”
A security supervisor also asked them to leave. She states that “as we got up to leave, we took each other’s hands again and he said to us, ‘See, you want it to be public, you want people to see.”
Breedlove is a co-director of an advocacy group for minority, immigrant and gay rights, but insists that this was not a publicity stunt. She has stated “People have raised this question before, and you know it’s definitely ironic in a way that I’m a gay rights activist. But in a way, that’s why we wanted to do something.” She and others will be returning there on Sunday for a peaceful demonstration. She said “We want to be open and show young people that as adults, we’re leading lives. We have decent lives, we’re good people.”
She does want anti-discrimination training for their security teams. So far, no one associated with York Properties has responded because, apparently, they are away at a conference. The American Civil Liberties Union is now looking into the incident.