A gay pub has been accused of being “unprincipled” and “disingenuous” after a customer was told to stop kissing his boyfriend because it is “inappropriate.”
Scott Blockley, 39, was shocked when the General Manager of the Rose and Crown pub in Greenwich told him to stop kissing his partner Marc Finbow, 24, because other customers may find it offensive.
He said: “I was on a first date – kissing my new friend at one end of the bar – away from other people in the bar when the bar manager told us our behaviour was “inappropriate at this time of the day.
“I asked if the Rose and Crown was a gay pub – the manager replied ‘yes, but we are a mixed pub too, we always have been.’
“I made the point that to stop displays of affection in a gay pub smacked of homophobia. The answer I got was that ‘the old lady over there and straight customers coming in might find it offensive.’
Kelly Hewlett , Head Office Manager of the Free Spirit Group, which owns the pub, apologised to Mr Blockley, she said in a letter to him, “Richard has worked in and run numerous Gay pubs over the past 6 years including The Rose and Crown which has a large variety of customers and has never been accused of being homophobic in all of this time.
“As a company we follow strict equal opportunity procedures as do our managers.
“Regarding the matter at hand, when you were told that your behaviour was inappropriate I can assure you that it had nothing to do with the fact that is was two men kissing, which I am told Richard did tell you this at the time.
“Any customer in the same situation as yourself would have been told the same thing.”
The reaction enraged Mr Blockley, prompting him to accuse the pub of being happy to take gay customer’s money but not to stand up for gay rights, he said: “It’s a shame that you are prepared to listen to the views of a minority of bigots rather than take a stand and say that nothing is inappropriate about 2 men kissing – you are prepared to take gay men’s money and put your money where your mouths are and stand up for the right of gay people to be themselves.
“We have had enough prejudice and discrimination to fight – often with disastrous consequences such as suicide and self-harm than to face hostility and pure hard heartedness from our so called gay scene.”