Homosexuality used to be a crime in Texas punishable by 10 years of imprisonment. A few years ago, police, acting on an anonymous tip, raided a house, broke down the door, stormed inside and caught a couple in a homosexual act. The couple was charged with homosexuality and imprisoned (eventually released on bail).
The couple was charged with felony and Texas government fought the case tooth and nail, all the way to the Supreme Court. Eventually sanity prevailed and Supreme Court declared the Texas Sodomy law unconstitutional.
In light of this what happened in San Antonio shopping mall should come as no surprise. A pair of smooching twentysomething female shoppers were arrested there at the Rolling Oaks Mall (external - login to view) in December and now face criminal charges that range from trespassing to assaulting an officer of the law.
Mall spokesperson Les Morris says there's no mall policy against kissing. "Our code of conduct prohibits behavior that is disruptive to our shopping environment," he says. "Rest assured that we enforce our code of conduct in a nondiscriminatory manner."
Says Donna Lieberman (external - login to view), director of the New York Civil Liberties Union (external - login to view): "A mall can't give shoppers a kiss-off based on gender, at least certainly here in New York (external - login to view) and hopefully in Texas (external - login to view) as well.
"If two women kissing is a problem in a mall, but a boy and girl kissing is not, then this is a discriminatory policy."
It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Anyway this reinforces the reputation of USA (and especially the Bible Belt) as being hostile to gays, of actively persecuting gays.
Kissing is no crime, say women arrested in San Antonio mall (external - login to view)