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 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 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 276.

    As I gay man I wouldn't feel comfortable if two men were kissing if I was in a straight pub with members of my family for instance - so I agree with the landlord's judgement . I believe tolerance should flow both ways.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    I've always believed that if you are 'offended' by a behaviour, then it is your responsibility to stop observing and leave. If there is something offensive on TV, you change the channel. If I see couples (regardless of gender) getting steamy in a bar, I simple turn my eyes away and the matter is instantly resolved. They are happy with their company and I'm happy with mine. Simple.

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.

    I don't see the problem, why do we continually have this homophobic label pinned on a particular persons actions when someone is offended, or contravening someones house rules. Mutual respect for peoples actions is very difficult,but in my book you do as the house rules dictate - no argument. I was evicted from a pub in Wales in 1972 by a landlady for giving my Girlfriend a kiss on her cheek !!!!


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