Couple claim they were asked to leave a children’s playground because they are gay after the owner put up a sign banning public displays of affection
- Victoria Torres and Tuyen Nguyen said the incident occurred in mid-June at Treehouse Adventures in Georgia’s Savannah Mall
- Torres and Nguyen had taken Torres’ five-year-old nephew to the playground
- Torres said she had her arm around Nguyen when a chaperone approached
- They said the chaperone told them to stop touching each other like that
- When they refused to stop, they argued and eventually left the facility
- Treehouse Adventures said they were not targeted because they are gay
- Instead, the playground said it has a strict no-PDA policy posted on the door
- The playground said that children on a field trip had complained to their chaperone about Torres and Nguyen’s public display of affection
A couple has claimed an employee at a daycare playground told them to leave the premises because they are gay.
Victoria Torres said she and her girlfriend, Tuyen Nguyen, were at Treehouse Adventures in the Savannah Mall, in Savannah, Georgia, with Torres’ five-year-old nephew when the incident happened in mid-June.
Torres told WSAV that while they were watching her nephew play, she put her arm around Nguyen’s shoulder. Soon after, a Treehouse Adventures chaperone came over and told the couple to stop because the children at the playground were uncomfortable.
Couple Victoria Torres (left) and Tuyen Nguyen (right) said an employee told them to leave because they are gay
When Torres and Nguyen refused to comply, they then argued with the chaperone and ultimately left the facility with the nephew.
‘It was not only embarrassing, it was hurtful,’ Torres said. ‘You’re just being yourself…it’s never happened to me before.’
Nguyen added that ‘there were plenty of couples there,’ but that they were singled out, even though they ‘were just sitting there reading a magazine.’
‘To explain to my nephew what had happened and why people do that and why you’re not accepted everywhere you go… it’s hard,’ Torres added.
Treehouse Adventures owner Ben Saborio has apologized about what happened, but is claiming that the fact that the couple is gay had nothing to do with their being told to stop being affectionate with each other.
Saborio said the playground has a strict policy against public displays of affection, which is made clear on a laminated sign posted near their front door.
The couple said they had taken Torres’ nephew to Treehouse Adventures (pictured) and that Torres had her arm around Nguyen while they watched him when the incident occurred
Treehouse Adventures said that the couple was not asked to leave and that they were approached and told to stop touching because the playground has a strict no-PDA policy
Treehouse Adventures owner Ben Saborio said the couple was not discriminated against. The playground’s public apology stated children had complained about the couple’s PDA
The sign, which he showed WSAV, states patrons should ‘Please Refrain from ALL Kinds of public display In the Tree House Establishment of any kind of Affection, Hugging, Kissing, Touching, ETC. if not being shown towards the children! This is a kid’s zone and we like to keep it P.G.’
Saborio said the sign was posted after an incident occurred prior to the one involving Torres and Nguyen.
According to the Treehouse Adventures’ public apology, obtained by the news station, the company said on the day of Torres and Nguyen’s incident, the facility was also hosting a field trip of 23 children.
‘A few of these children reported to their chaperon [sic] something they saw and thought it was inappropriate. Then the chaperon [sic] reported to management (Ben) that a couple was being inappropriate,’ according to the apology, which also stated that the couple was not asked to leave, but that they themselves chose to leave.
‘That was a really really tough situation. I really struggled. It wasn’t easy. But I welcome anybody. I don’t hate anyone,’ Saborio said.
Torres and Nguyen were said to be unhappy about the fact that Saborio didn’t approach them directly, but chose to have an employee talk to them instead.
Saborio said that he was concerned about his language barrier and that because his wife wasn’t at the facility at the time, he was ‘afraid to approach them and say something wrong that would be offensive.’
Torres and Nguyen have hired an attorney.