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Outrage in London as Gay Couple are Ejected from Pub for Kiss: Supporters Plan Massive Kiss-In Tonight

Kissing

Controversy has erupted in London after a gay couple on a first date, Jonathan Williams and James Bull, were ejected from a pub in London's Soho district for kissing, the Guardian reports:

Johnsnow Williams, a journalist for a financial magazine, and Bull, a charity volunteer, said they had been ejected from the John Snow in Broadwick Street, Soho, central London, on Wednesday by a woman – claiming to be the landlady – who accused them of being "obscene" while out on their first date.

The event has triggered a public debate on open displays of affection, how much is too much, and whether Williams and Bull were treated differently because they are gay.

The two men deny having behaved in any unseemly way. "We weren't being over the top; there wasn't anything that would be deemed unseemly," Williams said. "I'm not the kind of person to do that kind of thing in public."

A man claiming to be the landlord asked them to leave:

Bull said he was putting on his coat to leave and had given Williams "a peck on the lips" when the woman, who was wearing a staff uniform, came up to them. "She said we had to leave because we were being obscene. Then the other guy from earlier came over again and said we had to leave now, we 'weren't allowed to do that'." Bull and Williams said the man took hold of Williams's coat lapels as he asked them to leave the pub, and fellow drinkers joined in the pair's protestations of innocence.

The BBC adds: "The John Snow pub and Samuel Smith's brewery, which owns the central London venue, have not commented on the incident."

Said Williams: "We had been kissing but my hands and James's hands were above the table so I don't think it's really a problem. Should I be stopped from kissing my partner in public just because I am not in a supposedly gay area? That is just utterly wrong, surely. We shouldn't ghettoize people. If they want us out then there's a better way of doing it and a polite way of doing it and a way that doesn't make us feel like we have just been kicked out purely for being gay."

Listen to Williams tell his story here.

Twitterkiss

The controversy grew after Williams posted on Twitter about it, inspiring the creation of the Facebook kiss-ins detailed below.

The Guardian is actually running a live blog about the controversy, detailing developments as they happen.

They report that the couple will go on a second date:

James Bull, one half of the kissing duo who've taken the nation by storm, has confirmed to the Guardian that he and Williams will meet again.

"We'd already made plans for the second date before we got to the John Snow," Bull said.

Cautious of the pressures inherent with conducting a relationship in the public eye, Bull said he would "rather not say" where the rendezvous will take place, but confirmed it will take place at some point after Easter.

DEMONSTRATIONS

A gay kiss-in is planned for the pub tonight. The address is The John Snow Pub, 39 Broadwick Street, Soho, London, W1F 9QP.

A second kiss-in against homophobia is planned for the pub on April 21.

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Comments

  1. I was surprised to see they were on their first date: they look so much alike I assumed they'd been together a while!

    Posted by: KevinVT | Apr 15, 2011 9:34:43 AM


  2. Stories like this, especially given this is in London, show you that our basic humanity is still very much under attack, and that we have to be vigilant and be strong constantly, and every day send the message in one way or another that we are here, we aren't going anyway, and we demand equal treatment and will take nothing less for an answer.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 15, 2011 9:51:02 AM


  3. going to try to persuade my other half to head down there tonight after work. Have a good weekend from London!

    Posted by: arch | Apr 15, 2011 11:41:53 AM


  4. Hahahahah
    The pub has closed its doors and will remain shut for the rest of the day.
    The protest has hit them in the pocket.
    Roll on next Thgursday's kiss in.
    Let's bankrupt the place. This is Soho. It is our neighbourhood. Homophobic businesses are not welcome here.

    Posted by: David | Apr 15, 2011 12:46:53 PM


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