Chico's Tacos - Discrimination Controversy

Discrimination Controversy

On June 29, 2009, Chico's Tacos became the focus of gay-rights protestors when a group of five homosexual men were kicked out of the restaurant after two of them kissed publicly inside the restaurant. When the men did not leave immediately, the graveyard-shift security guard, Marcos Nava, an employee of All American International Security, called 911 in an attempt to have them removed by the El Paso Police Department. "There are two men eating here, and they're kissing," Nava said in Spanish on the 911 recording released by authorities. "They are homosexuals. I approached them and told them that they couldn't be kissing here because there are children here. They were kissing on the lips." The incident received widespread national attention, and the actions of the security guards and El Paso Police Department were widely condemned, including by the El Paso City Council. In light of this criticism, the restaurant's owners insisted that they have a policy of nondiscrimination, and that the men were ejected because they were unruly, not because they were homosexual. However, the two police officers responding to the 911 call allegedly threatened to have the men arrested for "homosexual conduct," despite there being no such law on the books. As a result of the incident, police chief Greg Allen announced that all officers department-wide would undergo more extensive sensitivity and anti-discrimination training.

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