Mom Says She Was Kicked Out of Restaurant for Breastfeeding and Told to 'Never Come Back'

A group of mothers organized a protest outside the restaurant in Anacortes, Washington

Breastfeeding mother
Aaron and Ruby Meeden.

The mom of a 4-day-old baby said she was illegally kicked out of a restaurant in Washington for breastfeeding and told to "never come back."

Ruby Meeden and her husband Aaron had planned to meet up with family for dinner at Greek Islands Restaurant in Anacortes, Washington, with their newborn son Rhett. As they were about to walk in, Ruby told KOMO News, Rhett indicated he was hungry and she started to nurse.

"I made sure to get a good latch before we went in, and then I covered him and everything and we sat facing the wall," she told the outlet.

The couple observed that the restaurant owner seemed busy, and they waited a half hour before he came to their table. When he finally approached them, the Meedens said, the owner told them to leave.

"So we were asking him, 'What's wrong? Is everything okay?' and at that point he said, 'Never come back,' " Aaron alleged.

Breastfeeding in public spaces — including restaurants — is legal across the United States. And According to the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington, "it's unlawful for someone to request that you stop breastfeeding, cover your child, move to a different area, or leave."

Upset, Aaron said that they left a bad review for the restaurant online, and that the owner soon replied, calling them names.

"He called our kids 'snot-nosed brats,' and that to 'never come in and breastfeed again.' He called my wife an 'animal,' " Aaron said.

"My choice to breastfeed my child in that restaurant was the reason my entire family was thrown out," Ruby said.

PEOPLE has contacted Greek Islands Restaurant for comment.

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After Aaron shared their experience on the town's community Facebook page, around two dozen moms in the area held a protest outside of the restaurant and planned to confront the owner. He opted to only offer take-out ordering that day before shutting the restaurant down early. He has also removed their Facebook and Instagram pages.

"He's going to have to answer for it one way or another because it's illegal to kick a woman out for breastfeeding," Megan Stevens, one of the nursing moms at the protest, told KOMO.

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