Restaurant Apologizes for Kicking Out Lesbian Couple

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Saturday March 3, 2012

A restaurant in Phoenix, Ariz., apologized for booting a lesbian couple for hugging and kissing each other during their anniversary dinner, the Arizona Republic reported.

The manager of the American Kitchen & Wine Bar in the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel told Kenyata White and Aeimee Diaz that they were making other customers uncomfortable and that they had to leave because they were displaying "inappropriate behavior."

"My partner and I were reminiscing," White said. "I had my arm around her neck, and she had her hand around my waist. I gave her a hug for about a minute, pulled myself away to give her a quick kiss, and then we continued talking."

White took to Facebook and posted about what had happened at the restaurant. The couple received a massive amount of support as several Facebookers responded to the post. The hotel's representatives eventually reached out to White and Diaz and asked to meet with them and apologize for making them leave.

"We had the opportunity to meet with the couple late (Tuesday) to listen to their story and better understand their view and how they felt," hotel General Manager Leo Percopo said in a statement. "We had a collaborative conversation, and both parties are taking this incident seriously. Together, we have identified opportunities in which both parties can unite and work together to foster diversity awareness."

The representatives asked the couple to come back and offered them free drinks.

The incident even got Phoenix's mayor Greg Staton's attention as he responded on the incident's own Facebook page.

"In our city, diversity is our strength and we support our LGBT friends, family and neighbors," he wrote. "We fully expect the Sheraton, which also has committed their support to our LGBT community, to work with Equality Arizona and resolve this issue in a professional way with their staff. Let's be completely clear -- Phoenix is a gay-friendly city and we welcome the LGBT community, not only because it is good business but also because it's the right thing to do."

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