On Saturday, March 2nd, two young men were asked to leave the Roseville Galleria for kissing. Daniel Chesmore (21) and Jose Guzman (24) were approached by a security guard, and caught their interaction with him on audio recording.
“If you continue to kiss, you will be asked to leave the mall. Period,” he said. “I counted you guys kissing 25 times. I told you before, we contact any couple…”
A representative from Roseville Galleria said that the couple had violated the mall’s code of conduct, and that’s why they were asked to leave. But according to a Fox 40 report, P.D.A. isn’t mentioned at all in the code of conduct.
So on Saturday, the LGBT community did what it does best: it showed the world that their love is the same as any heterosexual couple’s is. About 250 couples gathered at Roseville to celebrate the “Love is Love” event, which was organized via Facebook. Couples kissed, danced, held hands, and celebrated their love at the mall.
The point? To help people become more comfortable with LGBT couples showing affection in public. Because being openly LGBT is more widely accepted than it used to be, couples are feeling more comfortable being themselves in public. But that comes with the problem of people not knowing how to act around that kind of affection. It’s not necessarily hateful or discriminatory; it’s new and some people just need a chance to get used to it.
“It’s time for a revolution,” said Beverly Kearney, who first conceived the event. “We cannot accept discrimination anymore.”
David Larson, one of the speakers at the event, dreams of a future where open affection by LGBT couples is seen as acceptable and normal—one where no one would think twice about it. Larson is the founding president of the Rainbow Coalition in Sacramento and is a former Roseville City Council candidate.
“What is important ‘today’ is the history we are making ‘today’ in Roseville,” he said. “And what is important is how we make that history.”
Earlier last week, Roseville issued a public apology for the security guard’s actions. The mall is reevaluating their “sensitivity” practices and training in an effort to make sure no one feels “singled out or unwelcome” again.