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Watch: Couple Tossed from Deli After Same-Sex Kiss; Owner Claims 'No Making Out Policy,' Not Homophobia

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Jun 17, 2019

Rachel Curry claims in social media posts that she and another woman were eating at a popular Los Angeles deli on June 8 — the Saturday of L.A.'s Pride Weekend — when they found themselves confronted by the restaurant's owner. As told by Curry, the incident unfolded after the women shared a kiss, with the owner, Norm Langer, coming to their table with a walkie-talkie in his hand, demanding that they pay their tab and leave the establishment.

According to Curry's posts, Langer told the women he would not "have this in his restaurant because some of the customers don't understand." Curry says she protested the way he handled the situation and told Langer she would no longer patronize his diner. "He told me I was being selfish and inconsiderate of how other people felt as he stood there with his walkie-talkie waiting for us to pay our bill and leave."

Curry went on to post that "this experience felt violent and wrong and was traumatic for both of us."

Curry then went on to call for a boycott of the diner, posting, "I just want to raise awareness that this space is unsafe for LGBTQ+ people in an effort to prevent future harm to others. Please spread the word not to support this business."

Langer disagreed with that characterization of his establishment and presented the interaction in a different light. The Times of Israel reported that Langer went on Twitter to explain, "We have a long-standing policy against anyone from 'making out' whether straight or same-sex couples, it does not matter."

Langer took to Facebook after Curry posted about the incident in question.

Referencing "false accusations being made online," the statement posted to Facebook reads, "Langer's Deli is open and inclusive to all people. Anyone who comes to our family restaurant is treated equally and with respect."

The statement goes on to say, "I have stopped heterosexual couples from making out, and I would do the same if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were making out."

Langer told CBSLA, "My restaurant is open to all parties, everybody; no matter what your nationality and no matter what your sexual orientation, we welcome everybody."

CBS noted that Langer's father first opened the famed eatery, and it has been in operation since 1947.

Curry pushed back, insisting that the incident was not based solely on a universally-applied policy. In a June 13 statement she posted to Facebook, Curry opined that in handling the episode the way he allegedly did, Langer "was saying that his customers and/or himself did not want us being visibly queer in that space and that we weren't welcome there because of it."

Curry's statement went on to add, "Perhaps Langer's does have a policy about PDA, but that's not what was communicated to us and that's not what this was about, or at least it's not the only thing it was about." Curry said that if it was only a matter of a "no making out" policy, "it could have been handled completely differently and we would have respected that."

However, Curry claimed, "Mr. Langer did not inform us of a PDA policy and politely ask that we respect the rules of his establishment or anything along those lines."

Watch the CBS news clip below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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