SAN ANTONIO -- Two women who say a quick kiss got them dismissed from a local bar are asking the city to prosecute the business for violating an ordinance intended to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.
In a complaint filed Thursday, Maricela Fonseca and Gina Ramirez say they were dancing and having a beer at Sanchez Ice House on June 7 when a security guard asked them to leave.
"As we danced I gave her a quick peck on the lips. We briefly left the dance floor and when we came back the music was abruptly cut off," said Fonseca.
Fonseca said a security officer then approached them.
"(He) told us that the owner told him to tell us to leave because they are a family establishment and they do not allow the lesbians to dance and kiss," said Fonseca.
Workers at Sanchez Ice House declined to comment, but Justin Nichols, the attorney representing Fonseca and her partner, said the establishment violated a city ordinance, passed in September 2013, that prohibits businesses from discriminating on the basis of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.
"Under the nondiscrimination ordinance it makes it a crime to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation," Nichols said. "So one of the things we're asking the city to do is prosecute the Sanchez Ice House and that would be done in municipal court and the fine is up to five hundred dollars."
San Antonio's ordinance passed last year amid heated opposition from religious groups and conservatives. It updates a previous nondiscrimination law by extending protections to gays, lesbians and bisexual and transgender people.
More than 180 U.S. cities now have nondiscrimination ordinances that prohibit bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
(Contributing: USA TODAY, Associated Press)