Lesbians told to leave NC shopping center

October 15, 2010 11:37:40 AM PDT
A human rights group says it is looking into how a lesbian couple claimed it was treated while at Cameron Village in Raleigh. The women say a security guard approached them after they had lunch Wednesday and forced them to leave the property.

"We just had lunch at the Flying Biscuit," Caitlin Breedlove said. "We were just walking around relaxing, like most couples do."

Breedlove says she and her girlfriend then decided to sit on a nearby bench.

"We had our arm around each other, kissed each other on the cheek," she said.

That's when she says a York Properties security guard approached them, became hostile and asked them to leave.

"And at that point, we asked, 'Would that be the same if it was a man or a woman?' Because we see a lot of men and women walking around, holding hands being affectionate and she said, 'No.'" Breedlove said. "It's because you're same sex, and it's not appropriate."

Breedlove says a security supervisor also asked them to leave.

"And as we got up to leave, we took each other's hands again and he said to us, 'See, you want it to be public, you want people to see,'" Breedlove said.

Breedlove is a co-director of an organization that advocates for minorities, immigrants and gay rights, but she says this wasn't a publicity stunt.

"People have raised this question before, and you know it's definitely ironic in a way that I'm a gay rights activist," she said. "But in a way, that's why we wanted to do something."

She says she wants anti-discrimination training for York Security teams and plans to come back to the area on Sunday with others, for what she calls an old school-peaceful demonstration.

"We want to be open and show young people that as adults, we're leading lives," Breedlove said. "We have decent lives, we're good people."

ABC11 Eyewitness News reached out to York Properties for a comment, but was told several officials were away at a conference.

Breedlove says the American Civil Liberties Union is now looking intothe couple's claims.

This story is from our sister station, WTVD-TV, in Raleigh-Durham.


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