HUMAN RIGHTS - LGBTQ activists and allies got the Six Flags amusement park in Mexico City, Mexico to drop its policy against “affectionate behavior” by holding a kiss-a-thon in protest.
The protest was in support of a gay couple who were harassed by park security guards on December 29 for kissing while waiting in line for a ride.
Though the couple wasn’t kicked out of the park, a witness pointed out that straight couples had also been kissing in line. The gay couple suspected that the guards had targeted them because they are gay.
“[The park director] told us that in general all displays of affection were prohibited and that it was in the regulations, we reviewed the regulations with him and that paragraph does not appear,” a friend of the couple wrote via Twitter.
“They also pointed us out, took us out of line, and threatened to take us out of the park for not complying with the ‘family environment’ rule.”
A Twitter user named Matt Bernstein pointed out that even Six Flags’ ads in Mexico have featured straight couples kissing.
“There was never a policy that states you can’t kiss at six flags. Y’all made that up to do damage control after kicking out a gay couple because they made you uncomfortable,” Bernstein wrote.
The organizers of the kiss-in encouraged people to make out while applauding and celebrating love and affection.
“I think that this event creates consciousness,” said Androx Bondage, a drag performer who attended the protest.
“We are in the 21st century, and I think it’s foolish that today there are still people who discriminate and can be homophobic towards gay people,” Bondage added. “I believe we are an open-minded generation and there shouldn’t be a place for that mentality today.”
In a statement, Six Flags said its policy “discouraging visitors from becoming too affectionate” was an attempt to “maintain a family atmosphere.”
“However, in accordance with our visitors’ comments, we have decided that a policy referring to affectionate behavior is not necessary and we have eliminated it,” the park wrote.
The park added that it would be meeting with “a commission of the LGBT+ community” and city authorities to “work to move forward.”
“Homophobia is not a ‘misunderstanding,’” Alex Orué, director of It Gets Better Mexico, wrote on Twitter. “To overcome what happened… will require transparent and tangible actions in favor of the LGBT+ community.”
(This story was first published in LGBTQ Nation.)