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Chico's Tacos Under Fire over Gay Kiss

Chico's Tacos Under Fire over Gay Kiss

When two men briefly kissed at the popular Chico's Taco chain in El Paso, TX, they were quickly forced by security guards and a local police officer to leave the establishment citing a state law against homosexual activity.

When two men briefly kissed at the popular Chico's Taco chain in El Paso, Texas they were quickly forced by security guards and a local police officer to leave the establishment, according to the Advocate.

On June 26, Carlos Diaz de Leon and four friends stopped by Chico's Tacos chain in Montwood for a bite. When two of the men briefly kissed while placing their order, security guards hurled anti-gay slurs saying, they didn't allow "that faggot stuff" in the restaurant and tried to oust them from the premesis. 

The situation went downhill from there as the men refused to leave and De Leon called the police.  But when the police arrived, one officer siding with the security guards told the group of men that per a state law prohibiting homosexual activity,  it was illegal for two men or two women to kiss in public. Ironically, said state law, which stipulates that "a person commits an offense if he or she engages in deviant sexual intercourse with a person of the same sex," was overturned by the U.S Supreme Court in 2003.

An El Paso police spokesman told KVIA-TV that the responding officer was a rookie who innocently misinterpreted the law. Meanwhile Chico's Tacos owner Bernie Mora disputed the homophobic accusations telling KTIA-TV: "We are here to sell tacos, not to offend anyone."

The incident has garnered national attention and the taco chain faces a growing movement by gay rights activists to boycott the restaurant, with protests planned at the restaurant's multiple El Paso locations.

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Mona Elyafi