London

Gay kiss pub protest at Soho's John Snow

  • 15 April 2011
  • From the section London
Media captionHundreds of people gathered at the John Snow pub on Broadwich Street, Soho

A mass same-sex "kiss-in" has been staged outside a pub in central London where two men said they were ejected on Wednesday for kissing each other.

Hundreds of people gathered at the John Snow pub on Broadwick Street, Soho.

The men in question, James Bull and Jonathan Williams, attended the protest and held hands outside the building.

But Daniel Griffiths, ex-president of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations, said if they did not like the house rules, "don't use the pub".

Earlier Thomas Paget, the licence holder of the pub, had refused to comment on the row.

Asked whether the venue - which closed early on Friday - had been the victim of a "misunderstanding", Mr Paget said: "I don't have anything to say."

Samuel Smith's brewery, which owns the venue, has also not commented.

'Gone viral'

Mr Williams said the turnout had been "absolutely amazing".

"I think the landlord has to reconsider his position," he told BBC London.

"I think the landlord should realise that you can't do this kind of thing in Soho, because obviously people will react.

"Not just because it's wrong, but because people realise it's not acceptable any more."

Asked whether it could have been any kissing couple who were ejected, and not just two men, Mr Williams replied: "Show me a straight couple that has been kicked out. I would gladly reconsider my position."

The pub had shut at about 1600 BST, and Richard Lally, 26, of Clapham, south London, said "people started piling out".

"The doors were then locked," he added.

"You wouldn't think in Soho, this kind of thing would happen."

Friday evening's protest was planned on the social-networking website Facebook and had "gone viral", protest organiser Paul Shetler said.

"It seemed rather than us just sort of accepting that we should be hiding away from a place like this, we should just go there instead and have a massive kiss-in."

The Metropolitan Police is investigating Wednesday's incident.

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