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Video: People yell 'shame' as group is escorted from Sawyer Hotel for alleged homophobic complaint | Update

The group was escorted from the Kimpton Sawyer after complaining about women kissing.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — THURSDAY UPDATE:

An attorney representing the women seen in the video released a statement Thursday saying the incident has been misrepresented and their families have received threats.  

The statement says: 

This incident had nothing to do with homophobia, racism or even kissing. It involved what appeared to be sexual intercourse and inappropriate activity in close proximity of children.

Young children should not be forced to witness explicit sexual activity in a hotel swimming pool in the middle of a summer afternoon irrespective of gender or sexual identity. When members of the party politely and respectfully asked that some of the sexual activity be toned down because children were close by in the pool, they were met with aggressive verbal attacks. 

It is also important to note that the families were not asked to leave, escorted or kicked out by the Kimpton Sawyer hotel. They chose to leave because they felt that their safety was at risk.”

In response to the statement, Dominque Veasley said they were kissing.   “It’s unfortunate that they’ve had to stoop to lies when again, this all could have been a teachable moment,” Veasley said.

Also Thursday, Nikki Carlson, general manager at The Sawyer released a statement saying, “The Sawyer does not condone discrimination or verbal assault of any kind. An unfortunate disagreement between guests occurred at our pool over the holiday weekend and the matter has since been resolved.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

A group at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in Sacramento allegedly asked a female couple to stop kissing in front of kids over the weekend, which began an altercation that was caught on video and is now making the rounds online.

34-year-old Domonique Veasley was with a female friend at the pool. She said they were kissing, like any other couple at the hotel that was doing the same thing.

The incident allegedly began when a woman approached the couple and asked them to stop because she said her children were present.

"Maybe six seconds into it, I get this little tap, 'excuse me' and I look up and this lady's head is right there," Veasley explained. "She’s like, 'I have kids in the pool.' I’ve been in education for the past 13 years so the initial reaction was 'oh yea,' and then it kind of came to me what she was asking me to do."

Veasley said she told the woman she understood where she was coming from. She joked that when she was younger she saw a lesbian couple making out and "you know, here I am now." She added that the woman didn't appear to be happy about her response.

Veasley added that she felt the woman's comments were also racially motivated since Veasley's partner was white and the woman was directing all her criticisms toward Veasley.

Veasley said she and her friend immediately separated themselves from the group of moms and children but she added that many other straight couples were also kissing by the pool and the woman didn't seem to approach them.

"It was disappointing mainly because she used her children as a scapegoat to hide behind her bigotry," said Veasley. "It could have been an awesome teaching moment for her."

Veasley says she was talking to security outside of the pool when the now-viral video was recorded.

A group of bystanders shouted "shame," as the group that complained was escorted out of the pool area by the hotel security. 

Arthur Kaligos, the man behind the cell phone video, said he wanted to stand up for Veasley.

"I am a gay man and so it doesn't sit well with me at all," said Kaligos. "We are in Pride Month and when I saw that happen, something got triggered in me and I wanted to come to the young couple's defense."

While he shot the video, Kaligos said it was hurtful to watch the incident unfold.

"We've seen this over and over again," he said. "It's not okay to ask people to adjust their behavior for your comfort."

Veasley said she hopes the women in the video learned something from the experience.

"I'm sure an encounter isn't my first and won't be my last, but it can be a teachable moment," she said. "I think that's important. If you are not learning from every moment that you have and every encounter regardless of how easy, difficult, uncomfortable it makes you, you are not moving through this world trying to be better" 

ABC10 attempted to contact the women in the video and the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel for comment but have not heard back as of publication. 

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