updated 8/9/2011 5:56:35 PM ET 2011-08-09T21:56:35

Two men are suing a Northern California amusement park after they say employees posted a photograph of them riding a roller coaster with a caption labeling them with a homophobic slur.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

Craig Person and Edmund Yang were photographed holding hands on the Psycho Mouse ride at California's Great America park in August 2008, according to the complaint filed Monday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. The pair viewed the digital photo after the ride but declined to purchase it.

Later in the day, their friend saw the same photo printed out and displayed on a counter at another ride after someone had added a bubble caption above their heads that contained the slur, the complaint said. The friend confiscated the photo and turned it over to Person and Yang.

Wendy Musell, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the men immediately went to Great America human resources managers, who were initially responsive to their concerns but eventually stopped communication with them, prompting the lawsuit.

The 10-count complaint, which names Great America and its parent company Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., alleges sexual harassment, discrimination, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotion distress by park employees. It also accuses the park of negligence in its hiring and supervision of workers.

Humiliation alleged
Musell said the plaintiffs were humiliated by the photo display.

"Mr. Yang was in the process of coming out, and it was very difficult for him to deal with this type of ridicule based on his sexual orientation," she said Tuesday.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and policy changes at the park.

"Even if there was an anti-discrimination policy, the employees weren't adequately trained regarding the policy, nor was there adequate oversight, for this type of event to occur," Musell said.

Great America spokesman Jim Stellmack said Tuesday that he had not yet seen the complaint, but maintained that park managers "took appropriate actions" in dealing with the situation.

"The park doesn't condone the action, and managers dealt appropriately with the employees involved," Stellmack said. He declined to elaborate on what those actions were, citing privacy in personnel matters.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments