Lesbian Couple Asked To Leave Tim Hortons
A young lesbian couple was asked to leave a Tim Hortons restaurant in Blenheim, Ontario after a pastor complained to the manager that the two were kissing.
The couple claims that they were simply holding hands and kissed each other on the cheek when a manager told them to get out or have to deal with the police. Embarrassed by the confrontation, the couple says they left, but not before the pastor who had complained held a prayer circle in the parking lot to pray for the couple’s souls. The two insist they weren’t acting lewd, nor would they have dreamed of it since once of their mothers was with them.
The pastor, on the other hand, says he was dining with his three year old son when he saw the couple with “their tongues locked together” and their “hands down each other’s pants.” Insisting he’s not homophobic, the pastor claims he didn’t even know the pants-grabbers were two women when he complained to the manager. What the couple thought was a prayer circle, he says, was just some parents chatting in the parking lot.
Well, that’s a rather large difference in narrative, wouldn’t you say?
I won’t bother speculating what may or may not have happened. I wasn’t there, and don’t have much patience for he said, she said descriptions where both sides are very probably exaggerating.
This isn’t a new type of story, though. Near-identical situations happen with almost routine timing (and equally creative storytelling from both sides), but they do tend to involve same-sex couples more often than not.
In general, people tend to be too uptight about PDAs—and that goes double when it comes to same-sex couples. Of course, managers are free to be selective with their customers and demand appropriate behaviour so long as the behaviour is defined consistently for all people (gay or straight) and customer selection doesn’t violate Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Personally, I’m not bothered by most PDAs, and I don’t think others should be either. In this case, I think there were options other than asking someone to leave that should have been explored. This starts with suggesting the complainant simply look away (it really works—pastors, give it a try). If things really started to make even the most reasonable patron uncomfortable, though, then the PDAers could have been politely be told to keep things within the realm of hand-holding and cheek-pecks and respect the restaurant manager’s expectations of customer conduct. Insisting that people avoid all affectionate contact or demanding that they leave altogether is unreasonable and unfair.
Management, incidentally, has apologised to the couple for what they call a misunderstanding. Nonetheless, the couple says they won’t be returning to a Tim Hortons restaurant any time soon.