RICHMOND, Ky. (CBS Cleveland/AP) — A lesbian couple and a photographer say they were asked to leave a park in Richmond after the couple kissed.

WKYT-TV and The Richmond Register report that Cheri Chenault and her partner, Destiny Keith, were having maternity photos taken by photographer Jessica Miller-Poole at the E.C. Million Memorial Park when a gatekeeper told them they had to leave due to inappropriate behavior.

“We were told it was inappropriate behavior for us to kiss,” Chenault told WKYT.

A park employee told the newspaper on Tuesday that manager Adam Arvin was not available for comment.

Miller-Poole told The Richmond Register that she could not believe how they were treated.

“The man said, ‘If you come back and bring those type of people, you will be removed from the park,’” told the Register. “I never understood why people make such a big deal about being treated differently until I was actually in the middle of it and witnessed it firsthand. It really bothered me and upset me to witness someone be so cruel.”

Richmond Human Rights Commission Chairwoman Sandra Anez-Powell says there’s no law against telling the couple to leave because the city doesn’t have a fairness ordinance.

“It is legal to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation here in Richmond,” Anez-Powell told the Register. “They can be kicked out of public places, fired from their jobs and denied housing, a right that heterosexual people like me enjoy. The local human rights commission has fought for the last four years to protect the rights of every human being, but the Richmond City Commissioners have chosen to table this issue. The last administration did the same.”

The Fairness Coalition said in a statement that local residents are planning to call attention to the need for fairness protections in Madison County.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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