The homophobic message printed on an ATM receipt has sparked local concern and international outrage
09 MARCH 2013 | BY JEAN PAUL ZAPATA
Police are investiagting an ATM machine in Puerto Rico that has caused international uproar.
Outside the bar El Ocho De Blanco in San Juan, Puerto Rico, an ATM machine has been printing receipts with the message ‘We hate fags’.
According to LGBT activist Pedro Julio Serrano neither the bar’s owners nor the ATM’s operators claim responsibility for the homophobic message.
Jorge Torres, president of ATM Mobile Services, the company responsible for the ATM outside the bar, said: ‘someone from the outside gained access to the system and programming of the machine’.
The bar’s operators issued an apology for the incident via their Facebook page: ‘It is our duty, because we don’t associate or support this type of message, to notify that the message is operated by a private supplier (ATM Mobile Services) and to this date we had not been aware of the message contained in the receipts.’
‘We have taken immediate action by turning off the machine and made a claim with the supplier. We apologize for any inconvenience’.
Pedro Julio Serrano, who independently contacted the bar’s owners and ATM Mobile Services said: ‘This lamentable incident marks the urgency with which we must pass legislation that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity presented by Senator Ramón Luis Nieves’.
According to the bar’s operators, who spoke with Torres regarding the incident, ATM Mobile Services has not given any indication as to how an outsider can gain access or control over an ATM machine. Police are now conducting an investigation into the incident.
‘This can’t keep happening in Puerto Rico,’ said Torres.
‘Homophobia is unacceptable, no matter where it comes from, and especially in a public venue’.