Fury as gay men ‘thrown out of pub for kissing’
Protests planned after gay couple told to leave the John Snow pub in London’s Soho district
The folly of trying to throw a same sex couple out of a bar in Soho, the gay district of London's West End, for kissing is fast becoming apparent to the landlord of the John Snow pub.
Earlier this week two men, Jonathan Williams and James Bull, were ejected from the boozer after staff took exception to them "snogging". But their treatment at the hands of the bar staff has not gone down well, particularly after Williams wrote of his anger on Twitter and sparked a furious response among the gay community.
Several campaign groups have sprung up and couples, gay and straight, have been plotting revenge on the pub. Hundreds of people have pledged to attend "kiss-ins" at the pub and other hostelries owned by the Samuel Smith brewery. More than 500 people signed up to attend a Facebook-organised 'Gay kiss-in' at the John Snow tonight.
Another event, with the catchy title 'Queers & Allies Kiss-in Protest Against Homophobia at John Snow pub, Soho', has been arranged for April 21. By Friday lunchtime more than 700 people had pledged to turn up.
Anger about the couple's treatment spread quickly after Williams posted a message on Twitter after the date on Wednesday that said: "Seven years in London & I've never been made to feel bad for being gay. 45 mins ago the John Snow pub, W1F had me removed for kissing a date."
Bull went one further and lodged a complaint with the police. He said: "I felt so belittled, and to be made to feel so dirty and cheap over something like that – it's just wrong."
Not only did news of the incident turn the pair into social networking heroes and gay rights figureheads, it also landed them on the front page of the Guardian and earned them a spot on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2. The Guardian website even ran a live blog on Friday chronicling reaction to the story.
Their treatment does raise issues about tolerance and what constitutes acceptable behaviour. While pub landlords are allowed to eject whoever they please, other laws demand equal treatment for all. The police investigation is "ongoing".
The good news is that the couple do plan to go on a second date, but only after Easter when the dust will hopefully have settled on their first night out together. ·
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