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Restaurant Apologizes for Kicking Out Lesbian Couple

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Saturday Mar 3, 2012

A restaurant in Phoenix, Ariz., apologized for booting a lesbian couple for hugging and kissing each other during their anniversary dinner, the Arizona Republic reported.

The manager of the American Kitchen & Wine Bar in the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel told Kenyata White and Aeimee Diaz that they were making other customers uncomfortable and that they had to leave because they were displaying "inappropriate behavior."

"My partner and I were reminiscing," White said. "I had my arm around her neck, and she had her hand around my waist. I gave her a hug for about a minute, pulled myself away to give her a quick kiss, and then we continued talking."

White took to Facebook and posted about what had happened at the restaurant. The couple received a massive amount of support as several Facebookers responded to the post. The hotel's representatives eventually reached out to White and Diaz and asked to meet with them and apologize for making them leave.

"We had the opportunity to meet with the couple late (Tuesday) to listen to their story and better understand their view and how they felt," hotel General Manager Leo Percopo said in a statement. "We had a collaborative conversation, and both parties are taking this incident seriously. Together, we have identified opportunities in which both parties can unite and work together to foster diversity awareness."

The representatives asked the couple to come back and offered them free drinks.

The incident even got Phoenix's mayor Greg Staton's attention as he responded on the incident's own Facebook page.

"In our city, diversity is our strength and we support our LGBT friends, family and neighbors," he wrote. "We fully expect the Sheraton, which also has committed their support to our LGBT community, to work with Equality Arizona and resolve this issue in a professional way with their staff. Let's be completely clear -- Phoenix is a gay-friendly city and we welcome the LGBT community, not only because it is good business but also because it's the right thing to do."


  • fleebness, 2012-03-03 05:48:53

    I’m sure they worked out something best for both of them. I do wonder if they would have done the same to a straight couple.

  • , 2012-03-03 07:14:33


  • , 2012-03-03 12:32:21

    BS. Fire the manager of the restaurant. Just like they would of they kicked out a couple for being black. Of course it is Phoenix, they should check their papers first, or is that just for latinos?There is a reason Arizona is always last in states in civil rights issues.

  • , 2012-03-03 17:39:59

    I don’t think a restaurant is the proper place for any displays of affection, gay or straight. I would prefer not to see any kissing and hugging going on while I am eating. I am a gay man in a long term relationship, and live in Dallas Texas. My partner and I would never go to an eating establishment and kiss. I might be tempeted to do so in the Castro area of SF or some other gay friendly place. I don’t think the restaurant should have offered any apology.

  • jimbodapimp, 2012-03-04 01:34:44

    I think the bigots need to be sued. I don’t care if you don’t like PDA. It’s NONE of your business if I decide to hold hands, hug or kiss in public. Keep yourself in the closet, I’ll stay out of it thank you.

  • Lezgirl2011, 2012-03-04 10:18:41

    I personally don’t worry about what others might think when we go out do dinner or anything. We are a very happy lovey couple and if you don’t like seeing that then look away. No one is forcing you to look at us holding hands or hugging.

  • Don’t Tell Me I Know, 2012-03-04 11:40:20

    @Anonymous 17:39:59 Celebrating moments of life’s journey with your loved one(s) (gay or straight) at a restaurant and displaying delicate acts of affection with a gentle kiss on the lips or a warm and tender embrace is BEAUTIFUL. Because you and your partner reside in Dallas, Texas but prefer to display your acts of affection within LGBT populated areas as far from home as San Francisco suggests you are closeted and hmmm . . . "on the down low". How would your wives feel about this?

  • , 2012-03-05 10:42:37

    I am a lesbian from Dallas, Texas and if I want to kiss my girlfriend in public I do. I won’t make out with her but a loving gentle kiss. I’m proud of who I am and I don’t care what others think :)

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