Protesters rally for ‘Love is Love’ at Roseville Galleria
A crowd gathered in front of Westfield Galleria at Roseville Saturday to show their support for love.
The rally “Love is Love” was held at the Roseville mall in response to outrage over a gay couple reportedly being told to leave the mall while they were kissing and holding hands.
Following the incident last week, Westfield Galleria at Roseville posted a statement on its Facebook page stating while the mall does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation and more, it does have rules against sexually explicit conduct.
“Simple displays of affection including kissing or hand holding are not an issue,” the statement read. “In this case, the couple was violating the rules and the security officer requested the sexually explicit conduct be stopped. The couple was not asked to leave, because the conduct did stop. There is no basis for the claim that this incident was prompted by the sexual orientation of the individuals.”
Additional statements from the company said they met with leaders of local gay rights groups and they embraced Saturday’s event. Westfield provided the space for the rally and handed out water bottles, cookies and cocoa to rally attendees.
Event organizers Beverly Kearney and Jovi Radtke said the goal of the rally was to embrace love and educate about diversity and equality.
“I think equality is a big issue, combined with Prop. 8, (the bill that bans gay marriage in California) …Why the big response? People are over this. We just want love and equality,” Radtke said. “We’re fighting for the right to be boring.”
Derrick Lawson, president of the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, said Westfield reached out to the gay community and said they will work with them. In a statement on its Facebook page, Westfield said it will review its cultural sensitivity training and explore ways to partner with and work with the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community locally.
The rally was peaceful and included speakers and musical performances. During an emotional moment, Kearney choked back tears recounting the story of a young Roseville teen who committed suicide after three years of bullying because he had two dads.
“This is the civil rights movement of our generation. And until we can walk anywhere, just being in love, until we have achieved that, we’ll fight,” Kearney said.
~ Matthew Whitley