Allegations of Discrimination at Tastee Diner, Silver Spring MD from Tastee Diner on Vimeo.

Last week, two women staged a “kiss-in” protest at Silver Spring’s Tastee Diner after being ejected from the restaurant, they say, for hugging. In response, Tastee Diner released this grainy security video of the incident in an attempt to prove that the couple was not just hugging—-that Aiyi’nah Ford and Torian Brown were “engaged in behavior that is normally considered inappropriate regardless of gender or sexual orientation,” including one “burying her face in the other’s breasts.” The video (above) was so blurry, it allowed both supporters and detractors to see whatever they wanted to see:

whaddya know wrote:

Seriously, if an establishment asked you to please stop putting your face in your partner’s breast at the front of the restaurant (seen in the video, for more than 10 seconds), would you allege discrimination, or would you think that maybe there is an etiquette issue you aren’t sensing, that might be worth thinking about?

anonymous wrote:

I have a lot of gay friends but I knew from the get-go that this story was NOT as it was written. I’m glad the restaurant had video to defend themselves. I’ve been to that place for 20 years with gay friends and while customers might say something they thought was funny but wasn’t here and there and one time a waitress basically refused to serve us pie for some unknown reason, I felt pretty sure that in 2009 someone would have to have gone over the edge to elicit such a reaction. It’s clear from the video that this couple was engaged in a significant tight embrace for way way longer than is culturally acceptable in the USA. Sorry, but Tastee Diner 1, indignant couple 0.

TJ wrote:

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I’ve been saying since I heard this story that there had to be more to it. I lived in Georgian Towers, which is less than a block away, for years and I never had a problem there with my girlfriend. There were times when they were extremely slow, but that would annoy anyone. NO ONE ever gave me or my girlfriend a problem. I think, at this point, that most people understand that there is great sensitivity surrounding the LGBT community when it comes to being discriminated against, but if the management of the restaurant asked you to cool it, then COOL IT! They weren’t asked to leave until after the first refusal to stop. I’m sure it was embarrassing to have been asked to leave, but don’t make matters worse. Frivolous claims of discrimination do not further our cause.

Aiyi’nah Ford wrote:

Let me be clear that I am in no way upset by the aforementioned commentary. I knew when we decided to protest that we opened ourselves to the public’s response {both negative and positive}. The video is indeed blurry however Torian’s head was not “in my breast”. Please note my arms around her as we embrace. She was sitting and I was standing therefore she was chest level. But you can clearly see her head leaned on my shoulder. Torian and I have been consistent in our statements regarding this story however Tastee Diner has been unable to do the same. I welcome you to read the story done by the Silver Spring Penguin that includes statements from the Tastee Diner staff involved completely contradicting the “claims” they note on Youtube. If Tastee Diner hadn’t made a different claim to every different media source and the video actually showed something “x-rated” as the establishment is quoted as saying then I could understand…But really? Furthermore, Torian and I asked for nothing more than a simple apology. We aren’t trying to sue them for the $400,000 the city awarded them to move their discriminatory cyst pool 3 blocks. We also have additional statements from former employees and patrons who have made discrimination claims. Ultimately. the MCHR will decide as we have completed the intake process and they (MCHR) felt it was substantial evidence to proceed with an investigation.

Supporter of the Truth wrote:

Everyone is going to have an opinion on this. I believe that if someone truly felt like they were discriminated against, for whatever reason, has the right to have it proven and at least an apology. I agree with Aiyi’nah, all they are asking for is an apology. If that is the case, then why is Tastee Diner trying to make them look like they were doing something inappropriate by releasing a grainy video. Also, if this has never happened before, why did the employee apologize to them after they left saying “they’ve done this before”? Hopefully, the MCHR will be able to get to the bottom of this and justice will be served.

Jen August wrote:

I’m shocked at the comments shown above. I watched the video expecting to see what I’ve seen at diners and other public places (especially late night) all the time – “get-a-room type behavior”. But, lo and behold, what do I see – two tired women leaning on each other (hands on shoulders and head on chest/shoulder once or twice). Are you kidding me? This is inappropriate?? This is sexual?? I’m dumfounded, absolutely dumfounded. Especially at Tastee’s ignorant handling of this. Get a PR rep and get a lawyer, quick. Get a new manager and general manager while you are at it. I don’t know any of the parties involved here, but I’ll never eat at Tastee Diner again and will tell everyone I know to do the same. (p.s. I’m still shocked that Tastee didn’t hide this video far in the cellar as opposed to thinking it was supportive of their position. Come on!) Ms. Ford, go get them.

Ben August wrote:

Wow – if that’s inappropriate behavior then PDA is outlawed for everyone everywhere. To me, that was sweet mild affection that we should encourage in this icky world! I’ve seen millions of couples engage in this type of conduct. It’s pretty standard coupleness. In fact, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have done similar on TV! I think Tastee has a problem with head-on-chest simply because one of them has a large/nice chest. I’ve put my head on my girlfriend’s chest a million times. It’s a coined move by tired couples. Wow. Notably, the manager is watching the couple bizarrely well before any head on chest resting occurs. He just didn’t like them, because they are black and/or gay. It’s so obvious. Tastee’s response is shameful. The response should have been to immediately fire the manager and welcome the couple back. I guess I better not be tired and lean on my girlfriend anywhere in public, because apparently this standard should be applied to heterosexuals and gays alike. Wow wow wow.