October 08, 2010
A lesbian couple says they were kicked out of a Baltimore Ravens game earlier this season for kissing in the concourse of M&T Bank Stadium. However, a spokesman for the Maryland Stadium Authority claims that the women were asked to leave the stadium for stealing a plastic cup from a concession stand.
Mary Kate Morris and Nicole Marchetto told The Washington Blade that before the ejection they had ordered food from a concession stand during halftime of the Ravens' Sept. 26 game against the Cleveland Browns. The couple had also taken a plastic cup without paying and intended to use it for ketchup.
While waiting for their orders, the women engaged in "casual kissing." They said a security guard immediately asked them to stop, but they failed to heed the order even after he repeated the warning twice.
Soon afterwards, the security guard demanded to see their driver's licenses, and then the women were told to leave the stadium immediately. When they asked why they had to leave, the guard accused them of first stealing the cup from the concession stand and then accused them of stealing the beer. A Baltimore police officer intervened and told the guards the couple did not steal the beer. The couple has receipts for all the purchases.
Nonetheless, they were forced out of the stadium by three police officers. As they left, Marchetto said she told the officer, "I am a paying customer and a law-abiding citizen."
Morris and Marchetto contend their ejection resulted from the kissing and nothing else.
Somebody isn't telling the truth. It could be the guard, the couple or both parties. Stories like these tend to get subtlety tweaked in the aftermath, especially when legal action is being considered. The security guard said the women stole beer despite the complete lack of evidence. And Marchetto says the kissing was "no different from what numerous law-abiding straight couples were doing all around us" which sounds strange because I doubt there were actually "numerous" couples kissing around them. I think makeout sessions tend to be the last thing on people's minds when they're squirming through the dirty throng of humanity that is an NFL concourse at halftime.
Whatever you think about public displays of affection, though, they're not an ejectionable offense. Neither is grabbing a cup, for that matter. Granted, those cups are more important than you may realize (I used to work at a concession stand at RFK Stadium and know all too well that you get charged for every cup that's missing at the end of the day), but not so important that they warrant three police officers escorting people out of a stadium. Why not just make the women pay for it?
I'm not passing judgment on the guard or the women because there's way too much about the story we don't know. Two things I do know, though: All couples should be free to express themselves with affection in public. And all couples should forego this right because nobody wants to see you kissing your significant other in line at a football game.
Thanks, Huffington Post
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