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Looking for some way to disapprove of the ‘Chico’s kiss,’ Times columnist turns “a simple kiss” into “necking”

Ramon Renteria, a wonderful writer and a mentor to many a young reporter, usually captures the essence of El Paso in his columns. Maybe he did this time, although I’d like to think not. I won’t link to his column, because the links are disabled after a week and you might be reading this some time in the future.

He did what many others have done, sort of a version of “some of my best friends are …” or the Seinfeldian “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Not wanting to admit to disliking gays, let alone being outright homophobic, he and many others have made the assumption that the Chico’s kiss was a full-on mackfest. Yeah, I don’t have a problem with gay men, but …

But he blows that dodge by telling the truth early in the column:

Media reports suggested this was a simple kiss

Then, oddly, with no proof to the contrary, he goes on to talk about how inappropriate it is to make out in public. For example, with sentences like this:

Kissing at restaurants is inappropriate, a basic lack of respect for others. Diners don’t want to see you barefooted, bare chested or swapping DNA.

He ends the column with this:

Necking in public never blends well with that double order with extra cheese and extra salsa on the side.

Cute, but logically flawed. Unless you don’t care about logic, and you’re looking for something on which to pin some disapproval on the Chico’s guys.

Sito Negron

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

July 12, 2009 at 9:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. oh please-did you see that puke piece he wrote on balcorta? this guy is not meant to do any real reporting, he just writes opinion laced fuzz pieces now. its sad.


    July 12, 2009 at 10:04 am

  2. Let’s stop trying to make this incident more importatnt than it is.

    There are two sides to every story and somewhere in the middle is the truth.

    Plain and simple, in-your-face behavior + machismo + let’s wing it law = three stooges or was it four or was it more. The people involved can’t seem to agree on the number, much less on what really happened..


    July 12, 2009 at 10:12 am

  3. I can’t believe so much time, energy and focus have been spent on this issue. It seems that if one disagrees with the “Kissing” Incident, one is labeled Homophobic. In this case, I’ll have to add to the list of people who disapprove. And, no, I am not Homophobic. If I am out eating in a restaurant, I do not care to see public displays of affection–in this case, what has been labelled as a peck on the cheek all the way to a deep french kiss. I don’t want to see a man and woman going at it french kissing and I don’t care to see two lesbian’s doing the same thing. Why? I am eating and cannot, nor will, get up and leave because two people can’t save their affections for their car or the privacy of their home. The problem lies in what the gay gentleman said was just peck on the cheek. It is his word against the security guards. And, it must have been going on for a while, because according to the Spanish translation, the guard told the two love-birds that if they continued their display, they would have to leave. This suggest more than a peck. Two weeks ago,Chico’s was seen as the savior to a downtown solution of bringing people in to eat. Now, they have become a whipping boy for the LGBT community. I was born and raised in El Paso, and have been long gone. Every time I go back to El Chuco, it is the same old story…since 1976, the mind set has not changed one bit. The world progresses and grows and all El Paso offers is a whiff of the past, and a not very bright future.

    Arthur Adjemian

    July 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm

  4. I agree with Sito. Ramon’s a great columnist and usually in tune with cultural and cross-border community issues but this time his comments fell off a cliff. The Chico’s kiss was not about private vs. public manners but about the violation of individual rights. There has been many a time when I thought a parent deserved to be kicked out of a store for hitting or yelling at their child in public. Their behavior is protected under law. And it is also when two people (regardless of sex) decide to neck in public.

    Zita Arocha

    July 12, 2009 at 2:09 pm

  5. So you all gonna lynch this guy cause of what he believes? Isnt this reverse discrimination? Sure the situation should have been handled differently by the Chico’s Security. Nevertheless, any couple whether straight or gay should be respectful to those in the next booth.

    Ramon you keep up your writing. This is the USA and you have the right to state your opinion.

    US Citizen Practicing Free Speech

    July 13, 2009 at 7:43 am

  6. Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

    November 8, 2007 Thursday

    Anti-bias laws get new look;
    Another attempt is made to broaden laws to include protections for gender identity, sexual orientation.

    BYLINE: By Joanne Huist Smith Staff Writer


    LENGTH: 335 words

    DAYTON – The Dayton City Commission found an old wound still festers as they reopened an effort to broaden anti-discrimination laws to include protection for gender identity and sexual orientation.

    The City Commission heard a first reading of the legislation Wednesday. City code already affords that protection against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, place of birth, age, marital status, familial status or disability.

    Commissioner Nan Whaley said citizens requested that city leaders consider the change. But about a dozen black ministers at the meeting weren’t happy to see it resurrected. Some accused the commission of secretly trying to change the law.

    “We were not contacted and we’re upset about that,” said Bishop Richard Cox of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

    The commission grappled with a similar ordinance in 1999, when former Commissioner Mary Wiseman led an unsuccessful attempt to amend the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation, the poor and Appalachian origin. Opponents, including many Christian ministers, said it would legalize an immoral lifestyle.

    Carl Starr

    July 13, 2009 at 3:32 pm

  7. Well there are 2 sides to every story… like Mr. De Leon saying on KVIA Xtra that he and his friends are very low profile individuals…. Yet he’s on youtube telling his account of the story in the bathroom of a local club, so high he can’t keep his eyes open…

    There are 2 sides to every story and if Mr. De Leon can argue his opinion over the air everyday for an entire week,,, Mr. Renteria has every right to write his thoughts.


    July 17, 2009 at 11:47 pm


    Wis Lawsuit re Wis state Gay Marriage ban as relates to same sex Domestic partner benefits…appears first impression Nationwide.

    “Even in jurisdictions where state law has expressly prohibited the recognition of same-sex marriages, courts have permitted employers to extend domestic partner benefits to their employees because it is seen as a personnel decision made in order to retain qualified employees and not a usurpation of the state’s power to regulate the institution of marriage. n81 Therefore, employers need not be hesitant in continuing or implementing domestic partner benefit programs even if their state passes legislation defining marriage as a heterosexual institution. Employers need not fear that they are overstepping the bounds provided by the legislature or the courts; since providing domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples is not the same as legally-recognizing them.”

    Above may be writers ref to private employors only not public…? [see story comments on NPT]

    Carl Starr

    August 6, 2009 at 10:15 am

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