Bouncers told two men who were abused for kissing in a club that ‘homophobia isn’t a crime’
Irish bouncers told two men who’d experienced homophobic abuse for kissing in a club that they wouldn’t intervene as “homophobia isn’t a crime in Ireland”.
Eoghan Ryder was supporting his friend’s show at the Button Factory in Dublin when, on the dancefloor, he started talking to and eventually kissed another man.
“Innocent and harmless, right?” Ryder wrote in a Facebook post detailing the incident.
“About an hour into the night, some guy comes over to us both, pulls us apart and tells us completely seriously to ‘stop kissing because we are making him and everyone else uncomfortable’.” Ryder said.
He added that at first he thought the other person was joking, and he “giggled, waiting for him to break and tell me he was messing… nope, he was deadly serious.”
“He said, and I quote: ‘We should do that in the bathrooms, out of sight of others, where we belong.’”
Ryder went straight to security with the man he was kissing and his friend, to tell them what had happened.
The bouncers took the homophobe outside briefly but then let him back in, and when Ryder complained that the man was still inside and making he and his friends very uncomfortable, he was told: “they all said they couldn’t do anything without proof because ‘homophobia isn’t a crime in Ireland’.”
Ryder said: “I felt sick at this point, and totally disappointed, so I argued that if the guy had been racist or misogynistic, they wouldn’t question it.
“They didn’t seem to care much except for one guy who kept an eye on us for the rest of the night to make sure nothing else was said to us but that seemed null and void at that point.
“We also had several other people in the club come up to us and say how disgusted they were by the homophobic guy’s continued presence so we knew we weren’t alone in our anger and frustration.”
Unbelievably, at the end of the night as Ryder and friends were queuing for the cloakroom, the original homophobic guy came up to them – and punched one of Ryder’s friends clean in the face.
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“I couldn’t believe that this had happened so I ran after this guy and shouted at the bouncers to do something and they all just shrugged at me with uninterest [sic].
“Not only did they do absolutely nothing about homophobia but they allowed someone to be punched in the face for no reason…completely unacceptable and a total disgrace.”
Shame on the Button Factory, Ryder said, adding: “There may not be hate crime legislation in this country but there are venues with zero tolerance policies that they take very seriously and given how many queer events and gigs take place in the Button Factory, they should be doubling down on this kind of thing.”
The Irish government is planning to introduce new hate crime legislation, after a Dublin man was violently assaulted in a homophobic attack in October.