Langer's Deli owner disputing social media accusations of anti-LGBTQ bias

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In a social media post, a woman is claiming discrimination by the iconic Langer's Deli, saying she was kicked out for kissing another woman.

But the owner of the Los Angeles restaurant is speaking out, saying the story is very different from the post.

The woman, Rachel Curry, is calling for a boycott of the restaurant. She says she was there on the same weekend as L.A. Pride and she and her date "shared a kiss."

Owner Norm Langer came by, she said, and confronted them, saying he "can't have this in his restaurant because some of the customers don't understand."

Langer told Eyewitness News he was shocked to hear of the social media post and offered a different version of events.

He said the restaurant welcomes people of any sexual orientation, but says no one should be "making out" in front of other diners.

"They shared a lot more than a kiss," Langer said. "They were making out in the booth with arms around each other."

He also disputes that the two women were kicked out of the restaurant.

"They accused me of asking them to leave, which I did not," he said. "I just asked them to refrain from kissing and making out in the booth. It became a spectacle."

Langer says he's always had a standing rule about public displays of affection which applies to *everyone in his restaurant.

"I have a policy. I don't allow any making out in the booths, whether you be gay, heterosexual or even if you're Prince Harry and Duchess Markle. It's not good in a family restaurant."

Now on the defensive, Langer has posted an explanation on the front door and wants people to know ALL are welcome here.

"We pride ourselves on having a family restaurant. We try to run it as a family restaurant, and try to be accessible to all.

He says the boycott may be having an effect as business appears to be down this week.

Contacted by Eyewitness News, Rachel Curry stood by her story, insisting the incident was clearly motivated by the sexual orientation of her and her date.

She said Langer did not communicate anything about a policy against public displays of affections.

"He knew exactly what he was doing and that was immediately clear to both of us," Curry wrote in a statement. "He was telling us we were unwelcome in his restaurant because we were visibly queer."

"Yes, we were being affectionate in public; we had just shared our coming out stories as we sat next to each other & kissed a few times, but it was not obscene or excessive and we did not do anything wrong."

"This was blatant discrimination against queer people. Mr. Langer made two people from a vulnerable group feel unwelcome and unsafe in his restaurant."
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