Aiyi'nah Ford and Torian Brown say they were ejected at around 2 a.m. August 12 for embracing at the counter as a straight couple nearby was making out with "no complaints from management," News4 reports. Brown says: "We were just like talking and holding each other, and the next thing you know, the manager comes over and he asks us to leave," Brown said. "Their exact words were, 'This is a family establishment, and people are trying to eat,' as though interaction between Torian and I was something to the effect of Fear Factor ."
The restaurant denies discriminating against the lesbian couple and claims the embrace got "a little X-rated." The restaurant has released surveillance video and posted to YouTube. "This is the full video of the couple who are alleging discrimination. When asked to tone it down a bit (it being lots of body contact and burying a face in the other's breasts), the couple responded angrily and was then asked to leave. The main thing here is it isn't about sexual orientation, but rather, its about behavior."
Brown and Ford have an internet radio show called Listen-UP! and reached out to friends, listeners and activists. Wednesday night they organized a "kiss-in' style protest and "filled half of the restaurant with about 25 supporters" reports the Washington Blade. "When we arrived, they asked us to sit in the back. [The discrimination] is blatant, and they don't even know what they're doing. It's tragic and sad," Ford told the Blade.
The couple has filed a complaint with the Maryland Commission on Human Relations. The Washington Blade reports "the commission has agreed to consider and process the inquiry."
AFTER THE JUMP, watch reports from NBC4 and watch the surveillance video.