Two gay figure skaters have sued a California ice rink after the facility’s management ordered them to stop holding hands.
According to court documents, the two skaters, Alan Lessik and John Manzon-Santos, claim that Monte Tiedemann, the manager of Iceland skating rink, told them to stop ice skating – because they were holding hands – on two separate occasions.
The two men, who say that they are not a couple, were training in preparation for the Gay Games in Chicago in July this year.
The suit alleges “unlawful and discriminatory business practices by denying their right as two men to skate as a pair” by Iceland and demands a public apology and sensitivity training for the venue’s management.
Iceland has denied the charges of discrimination, claiming that Lessik and Manzon-Santos were simply ordered to stop holding hands because of safety concerns.
Speaking to the Oakland Tribune Lessik said that, “We were publicly humiliated by having this happen to us and we feel absolutely clear that Monte has a problem with gay skaters”.
The two parties are first set to meet for mediation in an attempt to avoid a lengthy legal process.