Kenyata White and Aeimee Diaz’s two-year anniversary dinner at the District American Kitchen and Wine Bar inside the Sheraton hotel in Phoenix didn’t go quite as expected this past Sunday. The two intending to celebrate their relationship with a simple night out but the night took a turn when they were asked to leave the establishment after a smooch on the lips.
“We were just doing anything any normal couple would do on their anniversary. We were hugging and talking and I gave her a kiss and we just continued talking,” Kenyata told AZFamily.com.
“It hadn’t even been a minute after we spoke and the manager came up to us and said we should get a room. That our behavior was inappropriate and we should leave the establishment.”
The manager wasn’t necessarily the one with the problem. He told the women they needed to leave because other patrons had complained about their PDA.
“Here are these men who are at this table, 6-8 of them, and they didn’t like what they are seeing,” Aeimee said. “I mean is it really inappropriate to hold someone’s hand or to show expressions of love?”
Obviously the couple doesn’t think so, and neither do their friends. Kenyata took to Facebook to rant, writing on her page: “Just got asked to leave the District in downtown phoenix for giving my lady a hug and kiss on our anniversary. We met there….I am very upset…” Soon after, Facebook users flooded the District Kitchen’s page with comments about the incident. Last night the restaurant attempted to do damage control by responding to the criticisms with a post that read:
“At District American Kitchen & Wine Bar, we embrace diversity and are proud supporters of the LGBT community. We are taking this incident very seriously. We have cultivated strong relationships with organizations dedicated to diversity. We have supported and we will continue to support many events that are specific to gay, lesbian and allied individuals. Additionally, we take pride in having a very diverse workplace – a workplace that offers benefits for domestic partners. Our restaurant is open for all to enjoy and we sincerely regret that this incident took place.”
Since the incident, Kenyata and Aimee have met with the Sheraton managers to discuss what happened. For Kenyata, she just hopes “this is now an opportunity to help awaken some people.”
I have to say I’m sort of surprised management buckled under pressure from these patrons in a major city like Phoenix, especially over a little peck. Are you shocked at all?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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