by John Hawkins | June 5, 2008 11:54 am
There’s no need for the Mariners to apologize for this,
Most of the time, a kiss is just a kiss in the stands at Seattle Mariners games. The crowd hardly even pays attention when fans smooch.
But then last week, a lesbian complained that an usher at Safeco Field asked her to stop kissing her date because it was making another fan uncomfortable.
The incident has exploded on local TV, on talk radio and in the blogosphere and has touched off a debate over public displays of affection in generally gay-friendly Seattle.
“Certain individuals have not yet caught up. Those people see a gay or lesbian couple and they stare or say something,” said Josh Friedes of Equal Rights Washington. “This is one of the challenges of being gay. Everyday things can become sources of trauma.”
As the Mariners played the Boston Red Sox on May 26, Sirbrina Guerrero and her date were approached in the third inning by an usher who told them their kissing was inappropriate, Guerrero said.
The usher, Guerrero said, told them he had received a complaint from a woman nearby who said that there were kids in the crowd of nearly 36,000 and that parents would have to explain why two women were kissing.
“I was really just shocked,” Guerrero said. “Seattle is so gay-friendly. There was a couple like seven rows ahead making out. We were just showing affection.”
On Monday, Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said that the club is investigating but that the usher was responding to a complaint of two women “making out” and “groping” in the stands.×
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“We have a strict non-discrimination policy at the Seattle Mariners and at Safeco Field, and when we do enforce the code of conduct it is based on behavior, not on the identity of those involved,” Hale said.
The code of conduct announced before each game specifically mentions public displays of affection that are “not appropriate in a public, family setting.” Hale said those standards are based on what a “reasonable person” would find inappropriate.
Guerrero denied she and her date were groping each other, saying that along with eating garlic fries, they were giving each other brief kisses.
First of all, public displays of affection make some people uncomfortable and that’s why it was entirely appropriate for the Mariners not to allow that behavior at their games. If people don’t like that, they can pick out a better make-out spot than in the stands of a Mariner’s game — and honestly, just about everywhere is a better make-out spot than in the stands of a Mariners’ game.
Now, the article complains that there were other people in the crowd making out who got away with it. That may be true, but so what? If you get a speeding ticket, is it invalidated because someone else got away with speeding on the same highway?
Of course, there’s a little he-said/she-said issue going on: The Mariners say the gay couple was making out and groping while the women say they were just giving each other a little kiss here and there — so what?
They were told the rules up front, they were arguably breaking the rules just by kissing, and it’s the Mariners ballpark.
If they don’t like that, then they should go spend their money elsewhere instead of trying to turn the whole thing into a “gay rights” issue.
PS: Given the exhibitionism, whininess, and urge to offend people that’s so common in the gay community today, the next home game will probably be a nightmare. For example, don’t be surprised if two gay guys start having sex in front of a group of 3rd graders at the next Mariners’ game because they believe it strikes some sort of blow for gay rights.
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