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 331.

    Why should anyone care if someone is offended by kissing? Seeing someone kiss isn't harmful. If you get offended by it, so what? You're just whining. If you're so fragile, stay at home and lock the door; the rest of us don't have the time to pander to your whinging. Common phlegm I'm afraid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 330.

    So some people think gay people should restraint themselves in public because some people still find it offensive? I would, but only if all straight couples did the same - no hand-holding, no kissing or hugging, even at train stations. All adults to stay at least a foot away from each other in public at all times. would some people find the suggestion so benign if it referred to mixed-race couples

  • rate this

    Comment number 329.

    I always thought that the landlord had the right to serve who he likes because it is his premises. I personally would take offence if i was drinking in a pub to anyone kissing. I feel that the landlord took the correct action. But this seems how the world is going and we have to accept anything that happens because it is politically correct. I say well done landlord for making a stand for decency.

  • rate this

    Comment number 328.

    I'm saddened that so many gay people wouldn't feel happy kissing in a straight pub where straight couples are allowed to kiss! And many seem to have forgotten the new legislation which says that he can bar kissing, but only if he applies that to straight as well as gay couples. And I doubt that, given that he saw fit to call two men kissing obscene, I doubt he'd say the same of a straight couple

  • rate this

    Comment number 327.

    It seems this couple are courting publicity. They should have respected the Landlord and the rules of the house - not deliberately flouted them and then gone running to the press.

  • rate this

    Comment number 326.

    Every pub has a unique character and clientele to match. You have to respect that. Overtly amorous couples regardless of their sexuality might make the locals feel uncomfortable. But it’s a sad day when people take offence at a peck on the cheek/lips as a greeting. Thankfully my enlightened straight male friends don’t think twice at giving me and my husband a kiss when we meet in the pub.

  • rate this

    Comment number 325.

    @WDK What you call manners is social convention to me. However saying they are behaving badly is at least not proven in this instance, there has never been a problem with couples kissing in publics or bars here in the UK. Places like India and Thailand do not tolerate kissing in public however the UK does. That doesn't make it bad manners unless it goes over the top.

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    Unless other establishment users objected , this is fairly obvious homophobia. Running a pub they would have more occasions to be offended than most of us and should understand / be aware of this.
    This is the 21st century and they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for their ignorance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 323.

    @291: OK Michael - I don't agree with same-sex couples and I don't like seeing them show affection in public.

    See if they print that then!

  • rate this

    Comment number 322.

    Oh Dear .
    Seems all the PC brigade are up in arms - in force.
    This is not a balanced view - we only have one side of the story.
    Its being reported by delight in the media because it appears to be not PC.
    Don't then add to the hype until the full story is known !

  • rate this

    Comment number 321.

    Sometimes it's not about rights or laws, it's just about respecting the choices and opinions of those around you.
    Most people wouldn't eat a steak sandwich at a vegetarian picnic.

  • rate this

    Comment number 320.

    The problem seems to be that attitudes and preferences are not changed by simply changing the law. It seems the pub landlord didn't want gay people kissing openly in his pub. The new law says this is intolerant and maybe illegal. Live and let live, I say. I don't see why people who disagree with his view should be able to batter him down. There are enough pubs to go round.

  • rate this

    Comment number 319.

    I wonder how many tourists sneaked in to use the toilet and then leave without buying a drink while ther landlord was distracted

  • rate this

    Comment number 318.

    well done landlord

  • Comment number 317.

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

  • Comment number 316.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 315.


    And how is it right what you believe? Two sexes for a reason? What of the fact that snails are hermaphrodites? Where is your compulsion of human spirit to actually understand instead of making prejudiced pre-judgement? Do I need to go on? You make judgements based on flawed logic, that doesn't make you right, it just means some people have your same opinion, nothing more.

  • rate this

    Comment number 314.

    The only rights affected here are that of the publican. People need to understand that a licence holder reserves the right to refuse any individual, and does not need to justify his or her reasons. It's their livelihood. These guys were actually given a warning regarding their behavour, directly asked to tone it down, but carried on with mis-guided belief they were within their rights to do so.

  • rate this

    Comment number 313.

    I'm really curious as to why people think that gay people only do things like kissing in public to provoke people. I kiss my girlfriend and hold her hand in public, just the same way I would with a guy, because I want to be affectionate. I don't care what other people think. Sure, I'm not being full on or anything but a peck on the lips is preatty innocent and not to provoke attention

  • rate this

    Comment number 312.

    There are a lot of comments from people who say they are offended by the couple kissing, my answer to them is tough. this couple were not breaking any law by showing a some affection for each other. if that offends some people I feel very sorry for them , they must lead very sad lives.


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