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'Kiss-in' protest held after mall kicks out affectionate gay couple

March 10, 2013 | 10:20 am

A "kiss-in" was held Saturday at a Northern California shopping mall where two men said they were asked to leave for kissing in public.

Daniel Chesmore said he and his boyfriend, Jose Guzman, shared several kisses and held hands last weekend at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville.

“I kissed him on the cheek. That’s how my boyfriend and I show affection,” Daniel Chesmore told Fox 40.

A week later, supporters stood outside the Galleria for the kissing protest. Galleria officials said they welcomed the event.

“We are happy they are here. We want everyone to enjoy themselves here and feel comfortable,” says Stephanie Ringey, a Galleria spokeswoman.

Organizers said they were glad the mall allowed the protest to occur. “Westfield has made efforts to correct the action,” said event organizer Beverly Kearney told Fox 40. “But I hope that every person who has heard this story will stand up and fight for equality.”

In the original incident, a security guard confronted Chesmore and Guzman about their kissing, and the couple began recording the conversation.

“If you continue to kiss, you will be asked to leave the mall. Period,” a voice on the recording, apparently the security guard, said. “I counted you guys kissing 25 times. I told you before, we contact any couple ... about this.”

Chesmore is a student at UC Berkeley and Guzman is a Berkeley graduate.

“I feel like we’re always treated differently because we’re gay. It makes me sad.” Guzman said.

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-- Fox 40

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