A late night taco fix turned into
discrimination in El Paso, Texas when a group of gay men were asked
to leave a restaurant for kissing. The situation worsened when the
men reached out for help from the police who threatened the men with
a citation, ABC local affiliate KVIA reported.
The men say security guards at Chicos
Tacos, a Texas-based Mexican fast-food chain, asked them to leave the
restaurant because two of the men had been kissing.
“We went, sat down to eat our food
and security guards came and said that if they kept doing that, they
were going to throw us all out of the restaurant,” Carlos Diaz de
“They said 'We don't allow that gay
stuff to go on here',” he added.
When asked for comment the security
guards say the men were behaving loudly. A claim the men deny.
The men then reached out for help from
the El Paso police department. Police officers falsely claimed that
the men were breaking the law and threatened to cite them.
“[The police] told us it was against
the law for two males and two females to kiss in public, that they
could cite us for homosexual activity,” Diaz de Leon said.
The Supreme Court struck down laws that
prohibit being gay, including laws that would ban public displays, in
A police spokesman said the state's ban
on homosexuality remained on the books, but added it was no longer
“We don't enforce that law, there's
been court decisions about Texas' law on that,” Chris Mears, an El
Paso police department spokesman, said. “We don't enforce it and
what happened there wouldn't have even met the elements of the
offense, even if it had been enforceable.”
Mears also attempted to pass off the
threat of citation as a rookie mistake, and not discriminatory in
“Did he make a comment that he
shouldn't have made? Yeah, he did … but that comment I don't think
was discriminatory in nature. I think it was poor understanding of
Texas law enforcement officials in Fort
Worth face an increasingly escalating public relations nightmare
after police officers struck a patron during a violent raid on a gay
bar on June 28. Two internal investigations have been opened,
officers involved have been desked and the mayor has called for a
Diaz de Leon says the men will file a
complaint against the police department.