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Gay Couple Refused Service at South Suburban Restaurant for Kissing --
So, Let's Kiss-in!!

GLN permalink 5-28-2010

A few weeks ago Frankie Nielson and his boyfriend, Danny Hankes, decided to share a quiet meal at the La Fiesta Azteca Restaurant in south suburban Alsip, Illinois. As Danny reports,

"We ordered drinks and an appetizer plate, and passed the time by laughing and enjoying each other's company. After sharing a simple and socially acceptable kiss on the lips, just as any homosexual or heterosexual couple might do in any public facility in any Chicagoan suburb, we became victims of blatant and unapologetic homophobic discrimination."

"The manager of the restaurant marched over to our table, rested his arm on the ledge of the seat, and began expressing his feelings of what he had, apparently, just observed, 'I know you two are in love, or whatever, but this is a family restaurant. You shouldn't be acting like that. You need to calm down.' It should be noted that he spoke this in a voice loud enough that his words would have been clearly heard by the other nearby customers. My boyfriend and I stared at this man in disbelief for a short moment, and then replied, 'Fine. We're leaving. And we're not paying for this food.' He immediately placed himself in front of us with his chest puffed out and demanded that we leave some form of payment. Frankie grabbed his wallet, threw a twenty down on the table to ease the man's obvious discontent, clasped my hand, and stormed us both furiously out through the glass doors."

Both Danny and Frankie knew this was a blatant violation of the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance and the 2006 Illinois Human Rights Act, so Frankie

"...immediately pulled out his phone and called the manager after I drove out of the parking lot. Frankie then attempted to explain to the manager that his actions were illegal according to state law and that we would be provoked to file a law suit if he did not offer an apology and return the twenty dollars that he demanded we pay. The manager refused these demands and offered two explanations for his behavior. Primarily, he claimed that his religious beliefs and his establishment being a 'family-restaurant' prompted, and somehow justified, his actions. He then told Frankie that he knows a lesbian couple that frequents his restaurant and does not kiss because 'they know it's wrong.'"

A call to the Alsip Police (a police force with many anti-brutality lawsuits against it) produced no action. So if the police won't enforce the law and La Fiesta Azteca management are mortified by the sight same-sex couples, what do we do? KISS-IN!

The kiss-in will take place on the evening of Friday, June 4th. If you would like to participate, please email LGBTliberation@aol.com with your name and telephone number (cell preferred) so that we can be united in our action.


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