A Los Angeles artist who allegedly painted the words ‘Tastes Like Hate’ on a Chick-fil-A restaurant following the announcement that their president was against marriage equality, is not going to be criminally charged.
Manuel Castro, 30, of West Hollywood, was arrested on suspicion of vandalism a few weeks ago, but will not be criminally charged by the LA County district attorney’s office, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Prosecutors said earlier this week that they would not be pressing charges after police in Torrance submitted a case.
The District Attorney’s letter said: “The suspect has acknowledged his wrongdoing and offered to make restitution. Finally, the record does not establish the suspect was motivated by religious hatred.”
The cost of covering the graffiti is around $700 and the case could still be reviewed for prosecution by the Torrance city attorney’s office.
The graffiti appeared when demonstrations at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the US were taking place, sparked by company President Dan Cathy’s public declaration that he was against marriage equality.
The graffiti’s appearance coincided with the National Same-Sex Kiss Day, when LGBT rights supporters asked couples to take photos of themselves kissing at branches of Chick-fil-A.
Interviewed by the Huffington Post, Mr Castro said: “Everybody is entitled to free speech, but it seems like for the gay tribe, this is more of an issue of equal rights – human rights.
“I’m against what these [Chick-fil-A] people stand for, what this company stands for. They’re trying to take away what little rights we already have.
“I didn’t use violence. I used paint. Artists for centuries have expressed their opinions through this medium and I am no different.
“I am happy to pay for the costs of repainting the wall, but I am not — nor will I ever be — happy to sit quietly at the back of the bus.”