A gay artist has been arrested in California for vandalizing a Chick-fil-A restaurant with graffiti that read ‘Tastes like hate’.
Police arrested Manuel Castro on suspicion of painting the slogan on the side of the fast food chain branch in Torrance on Wednesday (9 August).
The 30-year-old admitted to defacing the building last Friday (3 August) in an interview with the Huffington Post saying it was in protest at Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s public opposition to gay marriage.
‘Everybody is entitled to free speech, but it seems like for the gay tribe, this is more of an issue of equal rights – human rights,’ he told the online news website.
‘I’m against what these people stand for, what this company stands for. They’re trying to take away what little rights we already have.’
The graffiti, which was written in the same font as the restaurant’s logo and featured a cow with a paint brush, coincided with a week of protests by both gay rights activists and supporters of the restaurant, including a same-sex kiss-in at branches around the country and a Chick-fil-A Appreciation day.
Castro added that the graffiti was intended to spark a debate on ‘tolerance and acceptance’.
He said: ‘I didn’t use violence. I used paint. Artists for centuries have expressed their opinions through this medium and I am no different.
‘I am happy to pay for the costs of repainting the wall, but I am not — nor will I ever be — happy to sit quietly at the back of the bus.’