Twitter controversy over “gay couple” supposedly kicked out of McDonald’s falls flat

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The breaking news was that a teenage gay couple had been kicked out of a McDonald’s in London; however, a few hours later, it turned out the “couple” in question weren’t gay; a few hours after that it seemed they had not actually been kicked out. Fact checkers worked around the clock to confirm that there’s even a McDonald’s in London.

The two teens, Adam Welland and Cameron Ford, went to an Eden Street McDonald’s Friday night wearing white dress shirts and black ties, spread out a tablecloth and electric candles, ate their food with dishes, glasses, and cutlery they’d brought from home, and had friend William Peachey tweet a picture of their “classy” meal, which proved an instant viral hit, having now been retweeted more than 15,000 times. The boys’ Twitter accounts are teeming with messages from reporters.

A brief rumbling of controversy accompanied the images after Peachey claimed that a “bouncer” appeared to remove them from the premises. “Gay Couple Booted out of McDonald’s” became the headline on Pink News and other blogs.

Then it turned out they’re not gay. To mitigate any potential ambiguity, Welland changed his Twitter mini-bio to read: “I’m not actually gay.” Which sounds pretty cut and dry to us. “We’re not gay. I never stated that I was. I have no problem with homosexuality but I am not personally gay. Thank you,” Welland tweeted later. Again, pretty straightforward, but presumably the confusion stems from a now-deleted post by Ford referring to Welland as his “beautiful boyfriend.”

The charge that they were kicked out also turned out to be flaccid, as the boys now say they were merely asked by a single employee to leave but that the rest of the staff stuck up for them. Peachey, it seems, was kidding about the “bouncer,” and the other pair apologized for the misleading comment. McDonald’s released a statement denying having the boys removed, saying they were “pleased that we were able to offer them an affordable treat” and noting that any outside eating utensils need to be taken with the customers when they leave.

Welland and Ford seem not to have anticipated the degree of scrutiny they’ve received. “I can’t believe we’re on Metro,” Ford said, referring to the free daily London paper. Welland complained about the Pink News coverage, calling it “slanderous.” Maybe they ought to just order in next time?

“Seems like it,” Welland told 429Magazine. Oh well.

— 429Magazine

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