Queer couple forced to leave Raleigh NC shopping center after kiss

Via Pam’s House Blend

In addition to the ridiculousness of this, I had to blog it because a) I grew up half an hour from this spot and have been there many times and b) the folks involved are big activists in the Southern LGBTQ movement.

A Triangle-area social justice group is planning to demonstrate at the Cameron Village shopping center this weekend after its co-director and partner were booted from the premises after showing signs of “gentle affection.”

SONG leader Caitlin Breedlove says she and her partner had just finished eating at The Flying Biscuit on Thursday afternoon when they went to sit outside. There, they shared a brief kiss after which a security guard approached them and said they had to leave.

According to a release, the security guard said that “being affectionate” was “inappropriate.” The couple asked the guard if he would have said the same thing if they had been an opposite sex couple. The guard said, “No.” The couple asked to see the security guard’s supervisor, who also said they needed to leave, reminded them Cameron Village was private property and said, “You want this to be public, you want people to see what you are.”

Raleigh is part of the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina, a hub of universities and towns that cluster in Central North Carolina. I grew up in Chapel Hill, and the region really prides itself on being more progressive than the rest of the state. The reality is that there are folks of all kinds in that region, and it’s not as liberal as it purports to be.

I’m proud of Caitlin and her partner for demanding to speak with a supervisor, and appalled by the response they received. The organization she co-directs, Southerners On New Ground, is well-respected and well-known. About SONG:

SONG believes all our identities, issues and lives are connected across race, class, culture, gender and sexuality. SONG is a membership-based, Southern regional organization made up of working class, people of color, immigrants, and rural LGBTQ people. We vision a world where the 3rd shift factory worker and the drag queen at the bar down the block see their lives as connected and are working together for liberation.

Check out their work and Pam’s got details about a demonstration they are hosting on Sunday at Cameron Village.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted October 15, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    You’re quite right about Chapel Hill. The problem is that it’s still surrounded by the rest of the state. I know two or three Friends from the area and they have mentioned much the same thing.

    That’s not uncommon behavior by the mall security. It was an unwritten rule around the huge mall where I grew up in Alabama that same-sex affection would not be tolerated. I do seem to recall that some queer couple did challenge it, with uneven success.

  2. Posted October 17, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    You’re kidding me right? I would never patronize this place again. I hope that rent-a-cop gets spit on.

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