This is some seriously messed up shit.
So get this: Mary McHale and her partner Sara Hinton were at the Seattle Mariners LGBT Night on August 19, when a Safeco Field employee told the couple their behavior was against the team's "family friendly" policy, reports the Daily Mail.
What were McHale and Hinton doing to draw the ire of the Mariners' security staff? Well, they were kissing, like any other couple might do at a three-hour baseball game.
They weren't groping each other, having sex or acting inappropriate in any way shape or form. Yet, somehow, their behavior wasn't what the Seattle Mariners would deem appropriate for Safeco Field.
Did I mention this ridiculous and sad event occurred on PRIDE NIGHT?
Like, Mr. Mariners employee, can I talk to you for a minute? Can you stop and think before you talk?
McHale detailed her upsetting experience in the following Facebook post:
We left early, shortly before 9 and exited the stadium at the Home Plate gate. While we waited outside the stadium for our ride, standing on the sidewalk, we shared a sweet kiss & appreciated the lovely evening we were having. Nothing gratuitous or obscene. A sweet kiss between sweethearts. It was then that a Safeco Field employee came out of the stadium to say, "Ladies, I'm going to have to ask you to stop." Apparently our behavior was against the 'family friendly' policy. We chuckled, thinking he must be joking especially given the recent incident a few weeks ago where a lesbian couple was harassed for the same thing and it made the news. But he was quite serious and threatened to kick us out, despite the fact we were already outside of the stadium. This happened on PRIDE night, of all nights.
This employee of Safeco field left the stadium to harass us on the sidewalk for sharing an innocent kiss. I'll bet you can guess how many times I'll be returning to Mariners games in the future. On top of the harassment, this individual misgendered both of us. My significant other is a devilishly handsome trans-masculine individual & I identify as non-binary, using gender neutral pronouns. Calling us "ladies" before chastising us for our innocent display of affection was both humiliating and embarrassing. This is not ok. This policy needs to change.
The Seattle Mariners has since apologized.
According to reports, Mariners spokesperson Rebecca Hale said the Safeco Field employee who discriminated against the couple has been spoken with and disciplined. She said,
We have fans that are LGBTQ and we want them to know that they are most welcome here at Safeco Field.
In reaction to the apology, Mary McHale added,
It's an opportunity to educate this employee and their supervisor and whoever else trains them on how to be more sensitive when they're enforcing their so-called "family-friendly policy."
Talk may be cheap, but Mariners officials say they will make all 1,300 employees attend a special training in September in order to make Safeco Field welcoming to all guests.
Citations: Seattle Mariners apologize after lesbian couple are told to stop kissing at the baseball team's first ever gay pride night because it was against their 'family-friendly' policy (Daily Mail), Mary McHale (Facebook)