Below is a letter from Gery and Lorain Amundson, presidents of the El Paso, TX PFLAG chapter, in response to the incident at Chico's Tacos in El Paso that we profiled yesterday.
A copy of the letter was sent to Chico's Tacos, All American-International Security, the El Paso Police Department, and El Paso Mayor John Cook.
The recent incident of harassment at Chico's Tacos against five gay men is of grave concern to our organization and the thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families and friends in El Paso. It appears that though we have differing feeling about displays of affection in public, this was an overt act of discrimination toward the young gay men at that establishment. Anti-gay slurs apparently were a part of the demand to leave.
This was a failure first on the part of the security guards and also on the part of management of the store. So far there has been no admission of wrong on the part of either group. The behavior of the police officer showed not only an ignorance of the law, but also a possible homophobic attitude. It is apparent that this happened because the men in question were gay. If this had been a heterosexual couple, probably nothing would have been said. All that is asked is that apologies be extended and training be instituted for the security guards, management and police officers involved.
This is a case of equal rights and we ask that equal treatment be extended to all persons in our community. PFLAG, along with other allied groups, stands ready to offer diversity/ sensitivity training to any of these groups. Feel free to contact us if you have questions
Gery and Lorain Amundson