People across America generally view the Pacific Northwest as one of the most progressive, and dare I say liberal, regions of the United States.
That stereotype was put to the test last week with the Seattle Mariners were taking on the World Champion Boston Red Sox.
During the third inning of the May 26 game, Sirbrina Guerrero and her date were approached by a Safeco Field usher who told them that their smooching was inappropriate behaviour.
Taken aback, Guerrero told the Associated Press:
“I was really just shocked. Seattle is so gay-friendly. There was a couple like seven rows ahead making out. We were just showing affection.”
Now, according to the Safeco Field Code of Conduct found on the Mariners page of MLB.com, the rules regarding PDA read as follows:
“Our staff will proactively intervene to support an environment where guests can enjoy the Safeco Field experience free from unacceptable behaviour, including the following: Displays of affection not appropriate in a public, family setting.”
This is where the debate becomes tricky.
According to Guerrero, a couple was “making out” just seven rows ahead of her and her date.
Was that couple reprimanded for their behaviour? Why is a gay couple making out deemed inappropriate while a straight couple faced no consequences?
Rebecca Hale, a spokesperson for the Mariners club, told AP that the usher was responding to a complaint that the women were “making out” and “groping.”
Not so, says Guerrero, who claims that she and her date were exchanging brief kisses while sharing some garlic fries.
Meanwhile, Seattle-based blogger Dan Savage is not standing for the double-standard.
As he points out in his column on The Stranger website, when America sees a man with his arm around his girlfriend, it’s seen as cute affection.
But should a man put his arm around his boyfriend, that’s seen as shoving homosexuality down the throats of people who aren’t quite comfortable with it yet.
Comfortable with what? Comfortable with people being happy? Comfortable with people being in love?
Comfortable with the idea that not everyone in the United States is exactly the same? Comfortable with a modern, 21st century family unit? Puzzling.
Be that as it may, there are clubs out there that are reaching out to their gay fans.
Clubs including the San Diego Padres, the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants, among others, sponsor gay nights at their stadiums.
Currently the Mariners are “investigating” the incident.
Earlier in the week Guerrero says that the Guest Services Department had apologised to her, but Hale did not confirm this with AP.
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