London: Gay couple denied entry to bar despite being told ‘couples-only’
Two gay men have claimed they were denied entry to a bar in south-west London, because they were the wrong type of couple.
The Wimbledon Guardian reports Hywel Kennedy, 24, and his partner Mike Strutton, 32, said they were barred from Edwards in Wimbledon, after a bouncer told them it was “couples-only”.
When the two men explained they were in fact a couple, they were still denied entry because they were not accompanied by women – despite having gone to the bar to meet four friends, three of whom were female.
In an interview to his local paper, Mr Kennedy said: “We both left the bar feeling extremely angry, irritated and slightly worthless at what had happened.”
“The comment [the bouncer] made outraged us, and when my boyfriend demanded to speak to his manager, he said ‘I’m afraid I can’t. You’ll have to go through me.’”
An employee of the bar stated that entry is restricted when the bar is “70% full of guys” due to security reasons.
Responding to the incident, which happened on the evening of Friday 4 January, a spokesperson for the bar said: “Edwards in Wimbledon operates a wholly inclusive customer policy where everyone is welcome.
“We were made aware of this incident when Mr Strutton contacted us via email to inform us what had happened.
“As a result, the operations team of the premises will be meeting Mr Strutton to address his concerns, as well as investigating the matter with the external company that provides door supervisors to the premises.”
The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for businesses including hotels and bars to turn away gay customers or discriminate against them when providing goods or services.