SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — Gay rights activists are protesting a Northern California mall where a same-sex couple says they were ejected for kissing.

The Sacramento Bee reports a lively crowd of about 250 people gathered Saturday for a “kiss in” and rally at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville to protest the March 2 incident.

Daniel Chesmore and Jose Guzman say a security guard told them to leave because they were kissing and holding hands.

Westfield initially apologized for the incident on Tuesday, but later defended the guard’s actions, saying the couple’s “sexually explicit” behavior violated its code of conduct.

On Friday, the company said it was exploring new ways to work with gay organizations.

Vice President Keith Kaplan told activists Saturday that “everyone is welcome here at Westfield” and apologized for the incident.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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