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Gay dads ‘scared for their lives’ after being ‘pelted with abuse’ by Burger King staff

·2-min read

Two gay dads have said they were pelted with homophobic abuse and chased out of a Burger King by staff because of their sexuality.

Leo and Romiro Mendez told Newsweek that they were driving home on 24 July, in Salida, California, and decided to stop for food because their young child was hungry.

Leo said: “Our two-year-old son was hungry, so I decided to place an order using my Burger King app so we wouldn’t have to wait for the food and because it’s right off the freeway.”

While the restaurant appeared to be open, he said, when they arrived they were told by the manager that the store was closed.

The Burger King staff then began hurling homophobic abuse at them, Leo said, and the couple, who have been married for seven years, were left fearing for their lives.

“He was calling us f****ts, laughing at us, flipping us off and said he was going to go get the strap [his gun] from the back,” he continued.

“My husband and I were so scared for our lives we left without caring about a refund, food or anything we just wanted to go home and be safe.”

When the couple tried to drive away, they said one staff member began chasing them and screaming at them.

The couple want police to take action on the Burger King incident, ‘not wait until someone has been shot’

According to ABC10, Leo and Romiro Mendez filmed part of the incident, and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office has said it has gathered enough evidence to forward the case to the district attorney, who will investigate whether the abuse constitutes a hate crime.

Romiro told the news channel: “We shouldn’t wait for something to happen. We should pursue it when we can actually make an action, not wait until someone has been shot, someone has been killed.”

The couple said that Burger King had not made contact with them and that they never received a refund for their order.

Burger King donated to Human Rights Campaign during Pride month, but Leo said: “I did contact Burger King but they have not reached out to me… They donate, get a tax write off but then are you actually taking action?”

PinkNews has approached Burger King for comment.

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