Actor Drew Droege said he was reprimanded by a manager at a popular Los Angeles Mexican restaurant for kissing another man during their dinner.
“It was so appalling,” Droege said. “Just to let it sink in that he was literally telling us that two men were not to kiss at the restaurant.”
Droege said he and his date stopped by El Compadre for dinner and a couple of drinks before going to see a show.
The actor told BuzzFeed News he was disappointed when the manager reprimanded them because the rest of the staff, including their server, treated them with kindness, adding that the restaurant has “very close ties to the LGBTQ community.”
As the two were wrapping up their dinner, Droege said he and his date had their arms around each other and shared a kiss.
That’s when Droege said the manager approached the pair and told them they couldn’t kiss each other while inside, saying that it was a family restaurant.
“So we felt it loud and clear what was happening then, and we just put our drinks down and immediately just stormed out because obviously we didn't feel safe,” he said. “We were just really stunned that we would be treated that way after a truly lovely dinner before that with our waiter and everything.”
Droege shared his experience on social media the next day, prompting an overwhelming amount of positive comments and support.
“I wasn't prepared today for the amount of love and support, and I am so grateful to friends and allies, you know, queer, straight, and everything in between, [who] speak up and amplify,” Droege told BuzzFeed News. "A lot of friends told me they called the restaurant today."
In a now-deleted statement on Instagram, the restaurant said it is “looking into” what happened on Monday.
“While we work to learn more, we want to make it clear we stand with the LGBTQ community and hold no space for intolerance, hate or unjust treatment of our beloved guests regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or status,” El Compadre said in the statement.
“We were built off of the core value to do everything with love, and we will do what it takes to continue to warmly welcome any and every guest into a safe community,” the restaurant added.
Droege noted that being reprimanded by the manager did not ruin their night out and they look back at the experience as a minor incident.
“It was just very unfortunate,” he said.