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London gay bar denies entry to man with MS because of his wheelchair

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  1. Thanks for picking up on this as it has been doing the rounds of social media this morning. The longer this goes without comment from Comptons the more reputational damage is done. Shame on them.

    1. Hopefully now this story is out, they will be forced to add wheelchair access.

  2. Jock S. Trap 26 Sep 2013, 4:17pm

    Shameful actions by Comptons. We suffer enough discrimination as is without our bars acting on it.

    Secret age range for one, another actively discriminating against disabled people…it’s a disgrace.

    Well done thought to The Duke Of Wellington for setting themselves apart.

  3. I used to run a bar several years ago when laws changed to comply with the DDA. If I recall correctly, it stated that there was no legal requirement to make immediate changes to venues to allow for wheel chair access but venues should take this into account when refurbishing their sites. Please bear in mind this was a few years ago so could well have changed.

    Having said that, you would have hoped that someone from behind the bar would offer assistance to Mr Stapleton, I know I would.

    What’s the betting that when someone from Comptons (Or Faucett Inns who operate it) do decide to make a statement, they will probably cite H&S as the reason for NOT offering assistance. That makes my blood boil.

    And I’ve always preferred the Duke of Wellington myself too

    1. since 2 December 1996 it has been unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability;

      since 1 October 1999 service providers have had to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way they provide their services; and

      from 1 October 2004 service providers may have to make other ‘reasonable adjustments’ in relation to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.

  4. Accessible toilets in Soho gay and lesbian bars and clubs

  5. Very cross at Comptons for this. Doubt I will go back there now as there are plenty of other venues in soho to frequent instead.

    And kudos to The Duke of Wellington… that’s what equality is.

  6. I would have boycotted, but I’m not a 40’s bald male clone with a goatee so they probably wouldn’t have let me in anyway…

  7. The shameful antics of this mystifyingly popular venue continue.

  8. Bye bye Comptons-you won’t see me again!

  9. You’d have thought they could have just helped him over the step. Maybe even some of the customers could have and probably would have had they seen it happening at the door. Seems very odd that he was denied entry.

  10. Ableism is inhumane.

  11. Stephen Mole 26 Sep 2013, 9:39pm


  12. Paul Harper 27 Sep 2013, 11:19am

    Pinch of salt time, perhaps. A bit like when Manbar got into trouble for not allowing older people in, which just turned out to be the misguided actions of an over-zealous doorman. Once the facts came out and the mistake was cleared up, there wasn’t a problem. The manager is currently on holiday, if I remember correctly, so nothing can be read into the lack of an immediate reply, either. Not everything works to the split-second timetable of the cutting-edge journalism of… Let’s wait until we know what went on before condemning anyone, there’s only one side of the story here.

  13. Paul Harper 27 Sep 2013, 11:59am

    Let me see if I have this right: an over-zealous temporary doorman at Comptons refused entry to someone in a wheelchair. The manager and head of security were off-site and the stand-in didn’t handle it well. The offended party had a good old whinge at who got on their rather tired campaigning soapbox and made a big thing out of it. This has resulted in all the “what can we boycott this week?” curtain-twitching queens threatening to boycott the bar, despite an explanation and apology from the manager. I whole-heartedly support their boycott if it turns Comptons into a flounce-free zone for the rest of us…

  14. As a gay man, I’m disgusted by the action of this gay bar. It makes me ashamed to call myself gay, frankly. This incident suggests that gay bars may be run by appearance fascists – if you don’t look a certain way, you’re not allowed in.

    Any person who allows this sort of discrimination should be hauled before a board and publicly embarrassed. I don’t care whether they are gay bar managers or not.

  15. Many gay bars are built on fascism. In other words, if you don’t “look” a certain way, you’re turned back. Shame on gay bars. They should all be shut down.

    By the way, why do some gay men insist on segregating themselves away into gay bars? If you really want to break down the closet doors, why don’t you mix with ordinary people in ordinary bars?

    Put the gay bar owners out of business. Mix with the rest of society. Get out of your self-imposed closets.

  16. Come on Comptons get a ramp. It’s not only required by law and it won’t eat into your profits if you update you facilities to include people who need to use wheelchairs.

  17. The article says he was ‘denied entry’ – when really the issue was that there wasn’t a ramp. He didn’t get turned away or thrown out. Why didn’t the guy’s friends in in his ‘party’ help him over the step? Yes there should be some form of accessible entry, but it seems that this story is just stirring up trouble for the sake of it…

  18. Dave Tilley 28 Sep 2013, 11:57am

    Must be something in the air, I was refused admission to Union Court in Leeds last night. I am 54, walk with crutches have lymphoedema in my legs and have to wear special shoes and (non-branded) black jogging bottoms. Oh and I don’t drink!

    The doorstaff initially refused me entry but then called a ‘manager’ who came and advised me they don’t allow jogging trousers on a Friday / Saturday evening. I pointed out that I cannot wear anything else due to the large fluid pouches and showed him my leg dressings, which I found rather humiliating. He still refused me entry despite me pointing out I had been in there half a dozen times before!

    My friend tried to intervene for me as well to no avail. I went across the road to the Viaduct and Blayds and was admitted with no problem.

    1. Dave Tilley 28 Sep 2013, 1:14pm

      That should be Queens Court.

      1. Dave Tilley 28 Sep 2013, 3:51pm

        I have received an apology and a welcome back from the venue, which I am planning to accept.

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