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Gay 'kiss-in' protest staged at Burger King

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Photo of a silhouette of two men: Shutterstock
12:42 CET+01:00
Around 100 people descended on a Madrid Burger King restaurant recently to protest against reported homophobia at the fast food giant.

The 'kiss-in' to protest took place after a complaint by LGBT rights organization, Arcópli, which claimed a Burger King security guard asked a young gay couple to leave the restaurant for kissing, after a married man, eating there with his children had complained that they were bothering him.

The protest consisted of same-sex couples kissing in the Burger King on Plaza de los Cubos and was met with applause from the Burger King staff, reported the Spanish edition of the Huffington Post.

The fast-food chain admitted that the expulsion of the two young men was "an isolated event that does not reflect the Burger King Corporation’s long history dedicated to diversity".

The incident happened on November 30th, with the security guard in question asking the young couple to "tone it down", then, according to the couple, asking them to leave the premises. Despite other diners urging them not to leave, the couple finally left, angry and hurt.

Arcópoli, an organization that campaigns for social and legal equal rights for LGBT people, contacted the couple, offering them legal and psychological support and demanded an explanation from Burger King.

The restaurant manager said that the chain supports diversity and in no instance would support any homophobic behaviour by a member of its staff. He claimed that the security guard had acted without his permission and encouraged the young couple to return to the burger restaurant so he could apologize in person.

Arcópoli has called on Madrid's regional government to pass a law against homophobia because "the attacks and homophobic incidents have increased alarmingly in the centre of Madrid in recent months.

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Amanda Rodríguez, Arópoli coordinator said such attitudes were "unacceptable" in Madrid and that she hoped Burger King would "take sufficiently strong measures so that it cannot happen again".

It is not the first time LGBT activists have staged a kiss-in to protest against homophobia. Back in October, couples staged a kiss-in in British supermarket Sainsbury's, in Brighton in the UK, to protest against a lesbian couple being kicked out for sharing a kiss in the supermarket. 

In October, the Spanish region of Catalonia passed a controversial law which will punish those who attack gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals with fines of up to €14,000 ($17,700).

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