North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Z_CNHI News Service

November 6, 2013

Okla. man says he was asked to leave Walmart because he's gay

CHICKASHA, Okla. — An Oklahoma man says he was asked by a Walmart janitor to leave the store because he of his sexual orientation, and the store says the incident is under investigation.

Jonathan Pacheco said he and his boyfriend were shopping at the store in Chickasha, about 40 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, early Wednesday morning when a Walmart employee approached him. Pacheco said the employee asked him a series of questions about homosexuality before he asked him to leave the premises.

"He told me that I wasn't allowed in his store," said Pacheco.

Kayla Whaling, spokeswoman for Walmart, confirmed the company is investigating the incident.

"We are still in the process of talking to all who were involved," she said. "As soon as we are finished, we will take the appropriate measures."

Pacheco said the employee told him prior to asking him to leave that in his Bible, "it is Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."

"I just walked away," said Pacheco. "I wasn't looking for any kind of fight, and we weren't acting inappropriately. I just wanted to buy some cookies."

Pacheco said he spoke to two store managers, but no information was taken.

"They didn't write anything down. They just kind of sent me away," he said. "I was so taken aback at what happened, I couldn't do anything but laugh all the way home."

Pacheco said he the incident left him feeling conflicted about where he can go to shop in Chickasha.

"I feel like I can't go anywhere now," he said. "Out of all the stores I go to, Walmart is the one that is prejudiced against someone's sexual orientation. I mean, come on."

Details for this story were reported by the Chickasha (Okla.) Express-Star.

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