Gay couple 'removed from Soho pub for kissing'

Jamie Morton, 23, James Bull, 23, said he felt "belittled" and was "shaking" after the incident

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A man has told of how he was ordered to leave a central London pub after a staff member objected to him kissing a man he was on a date with.

James Bull, 23, said he and Jonathan Williams, 26, were thrown out of the John Snow on Broadwick Street, Soho.

Mr Bull said he was "shaking" after a woman claiming to be the pub's landlady removed them for being "obscene".

The Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident, while the John Snow pub is yet to comment.

Samuel Smith's brewery, the owner of the pub, declined to comment on the incident.

'Felt dirty'

"I felt belittled. I felt physically sick and we were both shaking," said Mr Bull, a charity worker from Kentish Town in north London.

"It made me feel dirty. I've never experienced anything like this before."

Mr Bull said a man claiming to be the pub's landlord first objected to their kissing shortly after 2145 BST.

"We were kissing and a guy who claimed to be the landlord came over and told us to stop. I don't want to see that. It offends me," he said.

"We had just kissed. It was nothing obscene. He said if we didn't tone it down, we would have to leave.

"We were going to finish our drinks and leave but another person at the bar said the man had no right to do that."

'Venom and anger'

Jamie Morton, 23, from Canary Wharf, who witnessed the incident, said: "I was really shocked. I said: 'That's outrageous - you can't say that.'"

Mr Bull said: "We had another drink and, getting up to leave, I gave Jonathan a quick peck on the lips."

"A woman claiming to be the landlady came over and said: 'You need to leave, you're being obscene.'"

"The man who said he was the landlord grabbed Jonathan by the collar before we left."

Mr Morton said: "It was shocking and aggressive. There was a lot of venom and anger inflicted on these polite guys who were genuinely doing nothing wrong at all."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Police are investigating an incident which occurred at approximately 2250 BST on Wednesday at a venue in Broadwick Street, W1.

"There have been no arrests and inquiries are ongoing."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 311.

    I am female and back in 1982 I was thrown out of an amusement arcade next to Harry Ramsden's in Guiseley because my then boyfriend kept kissing me. It's nothing new.

  • rate this

    Comment number 310.


    Being allowed to live in a productive manner = acceptable.

    Being segregated for just something you never chose to do = morally wrong

  • rate this

    Comment number 309.

    And if two women were snogging away would they have been thrown out? Some people are gay, get over it. Don't like what you see - plenty of other pubs.

    Its assumed the landlord and brewery had not problems banking the pink pound from their gay customers. Double standards or what?

  • rate this

    Comment number 308.

    How very sad that in a world so full of public mistrust, suspicion, criticism and blame that people are not free to show simple signs of affection towards one another.

  • Comment number 307.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 306.

    I live in a country, Thailand, where people are very tolerant vis-à-vis gay people. However, you would neither see a gay nor a hetero couple kissing in public, because it is rated as indecent behaviour.
    And I agree with them, because I like good manners.
    You behave badly in a public place - you'll have to bear the consequence being asked to leave.

  • rate this

    Comment number 305.

    This is completely unacceptable in the 21st century.

    The landlord should have his licence revoked.

  • Comment number 304.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 303.

    Easy one this.

    Mind your own business, live and let live,

    There are far too many people who think they are the Moral Police.

  • rate this

    Comment number 302.

    For me though the "I felt physically sick" comment seems a little over the top. The "I don't want to see that..." comment by the landlord seems to be homphobic to me.

    Much of the commentators are saying that this would make them feel "uncomfortable" lots of things that happen in pubs make me uncomfortable but they are hardly justification for throwing someone out especially if violence was used

  • rate this

    Comment number 301.

    This only made the news because they are gay, but no article has actually pointed out if they were asked to stop because of their preference or because they were kissing. I've worked various bars for 20 years and have asked people to refrain from kissing after customer complaints, straight & gay. If they don't stop when requested, I've asked them to leave. Would you publish if they were hetero?

  • rate this

    Comment number 300.

    The reason he and his partner were asked to leave was not so much that they were kissing in public, but that the landlord asked them to stop and they decided to 'make a stand' by kissing again, defying the landlord in his own pub.

    If the landlord had done nothing then other people warned by the landlord, perhaps for more serious matters, would ignore the warnings too following their example.

  • rate this

    Comment number 299.

    I do not agree with the men or women of the same sex kissing in public. Being older may be less tolerant, I was brought up to think this was wrong. Just because we have a law that says it is ok does not make it ok to some. Some attitudes are not so easily changed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 298.

    It really should be irrelevant that this couple are gay ie the pub landlord has every entitlement to set 'house rules' for acceptable behaviour providing they similarly apply to gays, heterosexuals, and lesbian, clientele. I don't agree that people should just look away if they feel offended by people's behaviour as we should all be considerate of the sensitivies of others whilst in public areas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 297.

    To the landlord who took offence at two guys kissing, you state that if you saw ANYONE kissing, whether gay,lesbian or heterosexual you would've asked them to leave.
    Maybe you should close or sell your bar and go live in a cave by yourself as your getting distressed by public displays of affection, that way you wouldn't have to face such blatant outrageous and immoral acts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 296.

    265. Prudishness ? How abou disgust.

  • rate this

    Comment number 295.

    Well, to be totally honest, the behaviour of those 2 Homosexuals would offend me and I would leave the Pub. On the other hand, if 2 Heterosexuals were doing the same thing to any great extent, I'd feel uncomfortable about that too.
    I believe that the majority of people find Homosexual behaviour uncomfortable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 294.

    I was thrown out of a pub in a Yorkshire village for giving my girlfriend a kiss on the cheek. He 'didn't want any of that sort of thing' in his pub. The landlord does have the right to ask you to leave the premises so we did without any fuss, but as with most things in life it all depends on how you do things. We (there were six couples out together) all found the whole episode hilarious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 293.

    Why on earth are all these people so "outraged" at seeing two gay men give each other a peck on the lips?

    Are these the same people who would go to a football match and quite happily watch two footballers hug and kiss each other when they score a goal? Or is that okay because that isn't seen as being "gay".

  • rate this

    Comment number 292.

    The Telegraph Friday 15 April 2011

    BBC Newsnight worker 'sacked over gay harassment'.

    Where is the BBC non bias when it preferes to insinuate/cause controversy via a kissing story & a MUCH more serious issue is reported by other media.

    Gays/homosexuals can ALSO be offensive and abusive and even criminal, even ones working for BBC, yet the BBC chooses not to report it to enable comment.


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