News (USA)

Advocates rally in support of affectionate lesbian couple ejected from shopping center

Advocates rally in support of affectionate lesbian couple ejected from shopping center
Caitlin Breedlove

More than 100 people gathered at a Raleigh, NC, shopping center on Sunday afternoon in a demonstration of support for a lesbian couple who were ejected from the property last week after a security guard witnessed them displaying an act of affection.

Caitlin Breedlove, 29, of Durham, said the guard and a security supervisor asked her and her girlfriend to leave the Cameron Village shopping center Wednesday afternoon after the guard saw them hold hands and kiss each other on the cheek.

Breedlove said she asked the guard if he would have asked them to leave if they were a heterosexual couple and she said the guard replied “no.”

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Lynne Worth, vice president of retail leasing for York Properties, which manages Cameron Village, said in a statement Friday afternoon that the guard involved has been suspended and that the supervising officer and all security officers will receive sensitivity training. [WRAL-TV]

The couple met with property managers on Saturday and received an apology.

“The meeting was brief and amiable,” said George York, president of York Properties, in a Saturday afternoon press release. “We welcomed the opportunity to sit down with the women and offer our sincere regrets over last week’s incident.”

Eventhough the complaint had been resolved, Breedlove still felt it was important to hold the rally.

“We have the right to be who we are, where we are, every single day all the time,” she told the crowd.

Breedlove is co-director of Southerners on New Ground, a social justice organization that is involved with gender, immigration, sexuality and race issues. She acknowledged that she is a gay activist, but says the incident wasn’t planned.

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