Following a FOX40 story about a couple asked to leave the mall for showing signs of affection in public, the Westfield Galleria is revisiting their sensitivity training and apologizing for making anyone feel singled out.
Daniel and Jose told FOX40 they were holding hands and kissed on the cheek while at the Galleria Saturday. A security guard approached them, and asked them to stop kissing or leave the mall.
When initially contacted on Monday, the mall released a statement, “Persons that violate the Code of Conduct are asked to leave the property.” However, FOX40 found nothing in the mall’s code of conduct about public displays of affection.
The story was shared with thousands across the country, and there was growing public frustration with how the couple was treated at the mall.
The Galleria released a statement Friday, saying they met with several Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered leaders and organizations this week. As a result, they say they are revisiting their sensitivity training practices and hope to find new ways to partner with these organizations.
“Let us be clear: if anyone was made to feel singled out on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity at a Westfield location, we apologize. We enforce a strict zero-tolerance policy on discrimination in any form and remain unequivocally committed to maintaining an industry-leader record on issues of diversity and equality.”
A “kiss-in” is being held Saturday at the mall. Westfield’s statement says they “fully embraces the ‘Love is Love’ event” and are “looking forward to ensuring a safe and successful celebration”.