Home security detained members of the Mexican Gay Men’s Chorus in Texas.
The Coro Gay Ciudad de México traveled through customs at William P Hobby Airport in Houston.
The group were traveling to Los Angeles for a joined concert with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.
Members were forcibly detained on Sunday morning (7 October).
Officers claim the reason why is because Homeland Security discovered sheet music in their luggage.
University professor Jorge Gutierrez was also pulled aside. Gutierrez was asked to verify he was not the same Jorge Gutierrez suspected of stealing a truck, according to the LA Times.
Several chorus members discussed the concert as they waited. The officers suspected the 52-member group were entering the US as paid performers, not tourists.
An officer said he thought ‘these guys weren’t being truthful or forthcoming’.
The group faced being deported to Mexico.
However, the group assured the officer they were not being paid and explained the nature of the concert. They adviced him it would be an ‘international incident’ is they deported the chorus.
The concert host committee includes LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.
Eventually, the chorus were allowed to go to LA.
The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a call to comment.
A GMCLA spokesperson said they were ‘very glad’ their brothers and sisters from Mexico City arrived safely.
”We have had this trip planned for over a year, all had been granted US Visas and this came as a great shock,’ they told the Los Angeles Blade.
‘But given the serious deterioration of United States and Mexico relations under the Trump administration and the President’s endless offensive comments about the Mexican people—coupled with the appalling and inhuman treatment of people seeking asylum at the US-Mexican border—I can’t help but think they were singled out.’
‘We are here to give a message of unity between two countries,’ Professor Gutierrez added to the Los Angeles Blade.
‘For us, it’s a dream to perform with the GMCLA and that dream almost vanished at the Homeland Security Department in Houston.
‘Our only fault was to carry in our luggage, sheet music. I had to convince the officer we were not getting paid and we were only trying to fight for human rights because we think no matter what, everyone should be treated equally no matter where they come from.’
The concert will take place on 13 October at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.