In El Paso, a gay couple was kicked out of a restaurant for kissing. If that wasn't bad enough, the police who showed up apparently didn't know the law:
The officer informed the group it was illegal for two men or two women to kiss in public, de Leon said. The five were told they could be cited for homosexual conduct - a charge the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas. That same year, the city of El Paso passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation by employees of the city and by businesses open to the public.
And you're going to love this quotation from the detective on the case:
"The security guard received a complaint from some of the customers there," Carrillo said. "Every business has the right to refuse service. They have the right to refuse service to whoever they don't want there. That's their prerogative."
Really? They could, say, tell 60 black campers to go home if they feared they would change the complexion of their pool because they're a business and every business has the prerogative to refuse service?
I know that neither of these people are lawyers, but it would be really nice if law officers actually knew what a crime is and what isn't. It's hard to have them out there arresting people for violating the law when they don't even seem to know what the law is.
More importantly, it's rather telling that their lack of knowledge went in one direction: against the gay couple that experienced discrimination at the restaurant. Is it really too much to ask for properly trained police officers?
If we're going to give some dudes guns and tell them they're in charge, we should at least make sure they know the rules. Otherwise it turns into any other situation where a dude with a gun in charge: an excuse to beat down on whatever powerless or unliked group presents itself.