The Westfield Galleria insists the couple violated their “code of conduct” and were therefore justified in making them leave the property.
Holding hands and kissing in public doesn’t seem like it would be that big a deal. Go sit in your local mall for a little while and just watch all the couples walking past doing just that. But for one couple in Roseville, California, those seemingly little public displays of affection got them kicked out of the Westfield Galleria this last weekend. Daniel Chesmore said, ““I kissed him on the cheek. That’s how my boyfriend and I show affection.” 21-year-old Chesmore and his boyfriend, 24-year-old Jose Guzman were enjoying their Saturday afternoon together at the Galleria when they were confronted by a security guard and told that if they continued to hold hands and kiss they would be made to leave.
FOX40 News reports that when the security guard approached them they began recording the exchange. The voice on the recording can be heard saying, ““If you continue to kiss, you will be asked to leave the mall. Period. I counted you guys kissing 25 times. I told you before, we contact any couple […] about this.” The General Manager of the Galleria, Eddie Ollmann, refused to comment in person, but he released a statement saying “Persons that violate the Code of Conduct are asked to leave the property,” but according to FOX40, they found “nothing in the mall’s code of conduct about public displays of affection.” FOX40 also did an undercover investigation and reports that they “spotted dozens of straight couples sitting inside of the Galleria, holding hands and smooching, right out in the open. And as the hours passed, not one couple FOX40 witnessed was asked to leave the mall.”
Chesmore told the news station, “In a perfect world, there would be no difference in treatment between straight couples and gay couples … I feel like we’re always treated differently because we’re gay. It makes me sad.”