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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 9, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 37
Second Lesbian couple harassed at Mariners game, this time on LGBTQ night
Section One
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Second Lesbian couple harassed at Mariners game, this time on LGBTQ night

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

SGN has learned of a second same-sex couple being harassed at a Seattle Mariners game for kissing - only this time the harassment took place on LGBTQ Night. The August 19 game was the first ever LGBTQ Night sponsored by the Mariners.

Either some of the staff at Safeco Field are incredibly bigoted or this is something that is a real issue and needs to be addressed by the greater LGBTQ community. In 2016, LGBTQ people should not have to worry about being thrown out of a professional sports match for kissing someone of the same sex. But so far, as this is the second such incident, that is exactly what we have to worry about if we attend a Mariners game.

'We had a great time at the Mariners game. We are not big baseball fans but went because it was Pride Night,' Mary McHale told KOMO News.

'And Sara turned to me, 'oh we are having such a good time, what a great night' and leaned over and kissed me,' remembered McHale. 'And at that time a Safeco employee came out and said, 'Ladies, I am going to have to ask you to stop.'

At first, the couple told KOMO News they thought it was a joke. Soon, however, they realized the employee was serious when he told them their behavior was against the 'family-friendly policy.'

(We all know what 'family-friendly' means. Let's be real. It means anti-LGBTQ. It means anything outside of opposite-sex affection is disgusting and kids shouldn't see it. It is ridiculous and we, as a community, should not be putting up with it regardless of if they threw an LGBTQ Pride celebration or not.)

'I asked, do you enforce this policy with heterosexual couples, and he said of course we do. And I said, what's the punishment if we kissed again? And he said, we are going to have to kick you out. We were already on the sidewalk outside the stadium so at that point I grabbed Sara and kissed her again,' said McHale.

The Mariners reached out to the couple, saying, 'The Mariners have addressed the issue with the employee involved, and with the supervisor who was responsible for training the employee. Both have received disciplinary action. This very issue had been addressed with Mariners game-day supervisors routinely in the past, and emphasized earlier in the day on Friday, but the proper approach was ignored in this case. We have apologized to the couple. We deeply regret that this happened and that the actions of one person may have undone any of the goodwill that might have come from our Pride Night celebration on Friday.'

'They reached out and apologized and said he was being disciplined,' said McHale. 'It was swift and positive reaction, and I really appreciate the way they handled this.'

McHale decided to speak out to take the opportunity to educate others.

'I think the Mariners are willing to be more inclusive, but they have some work to do and they are willing to do that work, and I appreciate that,' McHale said.

Others don't think that sorry is enough. What's to say this won't happen again? SGN is working with community groups and individuals to schedule a kiss-in at the Mariners corporate offices. Check next week's edition of SGN for more!

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