Rather, I have been utterly disgusted by this story about a gay couple being kicked out of a London pub for kissing. Yes, kissing. And, while the owner of another pub (the owner of John Snow pub would not comment) tries to persuade us (and possibly himself, too) that he'd have done the same "whether they were gay, whether they were lesbians or whether they were heterosexuals" I don't believe him for a second, and so shouldn't you.
I mean, have you ever heard of a man and a woman being asked to leave premises after exchanging a kiss? And for that matter, even two girls would have probably gotten away with it. Oh, I am all for the rights of landlords to impose "house rules". I am the first one to support a safe and fun drinking environment. However, as everyone should know by now, there is a small matter of human rights, and that small matter trumps any other legal requirement. At least in European Union, and last time I checked Britain was a member, and a founding one, too.
Now, I want to believe that Samuel Smith's Old Brewery is not the one behind such "house rules". They run good many decent (and cheap!) pubs in London (and probably elsewhere - I haven't checked), and the ones I visited were always nice and well run, with no hint of bigotry or anything similar. So, I will place the full brunt of blame - and shame - on the landlord of John Snow pub, or whoever was in charge on the night of this incident. They do not deserve to run a pub or for that matter any other public facing establishment. It should also be indicative that BBC had to go all the way to Barnsley to find a landlord who would defend this sort of thing. Who also need to be named and shamed, and his pub given a wide berth.
So, here's the list of culprits, as I see it:
- Landlord or manager of John Snow pub in London
- Daniel Griffiths, owner of Miner Rest pub in Barnsley
(surely it's Miner's Rest? BBC? Mr Griffiths?)
I am glad to see that Mr Griffiths is only an "ex-president of the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations". Surely such a noble institution would not condone people who condone ghettos for people they don' like, since Mr Griffiths was quoted in the same BBC article saying the pair should have gone "where the matter is accepted". The matter being an otherwise (i.e. in heterosexuals) accepted practice of kissing one's partner in public.
Does Mr Griffiths also expect gay clubs to kick out heterosexuals who kiss their partners? Probably not, because I bet that in his view, people running such places are such perverts that nothing would shock them. Well, from personal experience, not only one can freely kiss one's heterosexual partner in a gay pub, but the owner of the one I have in mind would actually be rightfully shocked at people like Mr Griffiths and his ilk.
Finally, being set for a good beer-fuelled day out in London tomorrow, I know exactly where I will not be imbibing. And as for Mr Griffiths's little pub, well I haven't heard of either before today and will now make sure that I promptly forget I ever did hear of it, even if I ever find myself in Barnsley. Which is unlikely.
And Samuel Smiths - I'm watching you...