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Watch: Hundreds Kiss Outside London Pub That Ejected Gay Couple

(image the guardian)

Despite the landlord shutting his doors early because of the planned protest, hundreds held a gay kiss-in early this evening in front of the John Snow pub in London's Soho district, protesting the ejection of a gay couple for kissing.

The Guardian reports:

About 300 people attended the scheduled kiss-in, which took place despite the closure of the pub and included Bull, Williams and gay rights activist Peter Tatchell. Just after 7pm mass co-ordinated kissing took place in the street, to whoops of encouragement from a growing crowd. "It's still a victory," said Paul Shetler, a senior director at an IT firm. "They've wound up losing a night's takings because they couldn't have a bunch of men with tongues in each others' mouths."

Encouraged by a large media presence, one attendee tried to pin a rainbow flag to the doorframe of the closed pub, while others stuck flyers depicting men in various states of undress on to the windows.

The BBC posted a news report on the demonstration.

Watch it, and a very brief video of the crowd outside the pub, AFTER THE JUMP...

And here's a very brief video of some of the earlier action:

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  1. What's the person in the background at 2:45 of the first clip doing in a diver's helmet?

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Apr 15, 2011 7:15:44 PM

    And stick around for the DeepSea Diver and the impromptu "snoggin" during the wrap-up

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Apr 15, 2011 7:26:12 PM

  3. I've always said that the gay scene has created a false impression of general community acceptance. In other words, the scene has fostered within our minds the idea that we are accepted in the general community. It's an illusion.

    Once we step beyond the boundaries of the gay scene, we suddenly realize that we are not generally accepted. The eviction incident at the John Snow pub proves it. There is, quite clearly, still a ton of homophobia out there, especially in relation to men. It's much worse for gay men than gay women.

    London may well promote itself as a bastion of acceptance but it quite clearly isn't. Gay men are only accepted if they stick to their ghettos. Once they venture beyond the ghetto, acceptance no longer exists. The same can be seen in New York City.

    Posted by: brian | Apr 15, 2011 7:35:28 PM

  4. @brian

    Um, this is ONE pub we're talking about, not a significant number of them in a large city. One outlier does not make a trend/one exception does not make a rule.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Apr 15, 2011 8:13:58 PM

  5. RaveWulf,

    True, one exception does not make a rule.

    However, how do you know that it's an exception? Have you tried proving that it's an exception. I would say that there are tons of other John Snow pubs in London that would look askance at even the most tepid of male-male kisses.

    The mainstream is extremely homphobic, especially when it comes to displays of male-male affection.

    Posted by: brian | Apr 15, 2011 8:37:40 PM

  6. Keep in mind that the John Snow pub is in Soho, which is generally considered a liberal part of London. The landlady of the pub allegedly told the male couple that their kissing was "obscene".

    If this is what liberalism has to offer us, no wonder many gay people are turning against the liberal creed.

    Posted by: brian | Apr 15, 2011 8:44:11 PM

  7. @brian

    *sigh* fine, go be an ignorant jerk living in your world full of demons. I want no part of your delusion.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Apr 15, 2011 9:12:10 PM

  8. RaveWulf,

    Reality, my friend, reality.

    As I said earlier, the gay scene gives us a false impression of social acceptance. Once we get out into the real world, we realize that it's not all hunky dory.

    Do I have a negative opinion of society in general? You betcha. But it's not negative for the sake of negative. It's negative because of what I've observed even in New York City.

    We have to be aware of the negative in order to challenge it. Pretending that all is well when it isn't is not going to lead to social progress.

    Posted by: brian | Apr 15, 2011 9:50:01 PM

  9. And where was that uber gay avatar Russell Tovey? Was he there? I hope so for the sake of his extensive gay following.

    Posted by: von Lmo | Apr 15, 2011 10:07:16 PM

  10. I choose to THINK instead of only reacting. I choose to move forward, to progress, instead of sitting in stagnation or moving backwards. Remember the past to put the present in context, view what is going on and look at the trends, envision what you want for a future and act on it.

    Yes, there are people and places that are still unfriendly at best, but we HAVE made a HUGE amount of difference from what things were. The "mainstream" is only "extremely homphobic" if your definition of "mainstream" is Fox News and social conservatives.

    Your personal experiences both in and out of gay culture gives you your negative view. My personal experiences both in and out of gay culture AND data collected about society give me my positive views.

    There may be bad incidents, but we are moving forward and things are (slowly) getting better. In a lot of cases things have gotten massively better.

    Don't forget that mostly bad news actually makes the news. You aren't going to hear about all of the good parts of society because they are "boring" to the media and the public. Things that are good and reports that show how similar we are often get shelved because there is no outrage, no excitement, and as a result lower viewers and lower profit. So they don't often air the good stuff unless it is a major excitement.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Apr 15, 2011 10:51:57 PM

  11. I have to side with the people who think the world -- and certainly the world that most of us live in -- is no more or less cruel to the gays than to anyone else. To think otherwise is inaccurate and, frankly, sad. The fact that we have it better than ever is indisputable. We're so much better off than we were in 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991 and even 2001.

    Having it better than ever doesn't necessarily mean that things are all that great, but, in our case, it does. Every minority group will always be at the mercy of every majority, but are we "generally accepted"? Of course we are.

    And, really, don't base your world view off of what you see in NYC. Greatest city on Earth and all that, but it is never representative of anything. And it certainly is no paradise for anyone.

    And gay people aren't turning against "liberalism". Don't be silly. Conservatives are still very much in the minority in the USA and gay conservatives are still almost as rare as unicorns and always will be.

    Posted by: justme | Apr 15, 2011 11:47:51 PM

  12. Well, I don't live in NYC or London and I have to agree with Brian. We are not accepted by and large. We are a despised minority. I left a job because I couldn't take the ostricism and ridicule any longer. Although things are better than they have been (maybe ever), we are barely tolerated. Those that think differently seem divorced from the reality of the wider society. Maybe they do live in gay ghettos where they don't experience the prejudice that is rampant in the real world.

    Posted by: rick | Apr 16, 2011 12:05:42 AM

  13. I think the gay male scene insulates us gay guys from a lot of the anti-gay prejudice that exists out there. It forms a protective barrier that, unfortunately, also creates the illusion that we are free and equal. Truth is, we are not free and equal.

    If I walked into a mainstream bar with my partner, I'd probably be accepted. However, if I walked into a mainstream bar and started nuzzling up to my partner, I'd probably be looked at in strange ways or even asked to stop. My point is that the mainstream won't accept our affectionate behavior even if it is modest and on a par with that of heterosexuals.

    Equality to me means that I can go anywhere I please and behave in ways that are equal to those of heterosexuals. Until that happens, I don't see myself as being equal.

    Posted by: brian | Apr 16, 2011 12:39:16 AM

  14. If we are talking world-wide, then yes, we are not welcome. However, we are not restricted to "gay ghettos" for full acceptance. There are plenty of areas that wouldn't bat an eye at gay PDA etc. Not everywhere, no, but we are far from restricted to "the gay scene." Look especially to the younger generations on this.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Apr 16, 2011 1:34:19 AM

  15. Add me to the list of people who thinks folks are kidding themselves when they think we're accepted by even a slight majority. I live in Phoenix, Arizona, and you have to be as sexless a gay character as the cast of Will & Grace to achieve acceptance and with the way sanctity of marriage acts and amendments get easily approved it seems pretty clear total acceptance is a media illusion.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 16, 2011 2:52:24 AM

  16. I live in South London, and my husband and I walk around holding hands in Streatham which is a fairly rough part of town and we've never come across any discrimination. It's difficult to be hateful when you live with Polish people, muslims, black people, elderly, chinese, etc.. one big melting pot. This is why I love London. For every ignorant Landlady, there are 1000 accepting pubs.

    Posted by: Adam | Apr 16, 2011 4:30:21 AM

  17. Press stories of English gay discrimination are increasingly becoming reports of isolated incidents, rather than representational coverage of general social attitudes like here in the US.
    Acceptance is the law across the pond. The bar manager is accused of breaking the law. The fact that over 300 people showed up to protest within 24 hours to make sure the law is properly applied should make every american gay isolationist blush a deep shade of crimson.

    Posted by: Go Galt. Please. | Apr 16, 2011 9:05:12 AM

  18. '... while others stuck flyers depicting men in various states of undress on to the windows.'

    Really liked the gesture behind the snog-in, but why does everything have to be so sexualised? Totally unnecessary.

    Posted by: PDB | Apr 16, 2011 9:48:04 AM

  19. I definitely think we are largely NOT accepted.

    When I can walk down the street in Boston or NYC or anywhere else--outside of a gay ghetto--and hold my fiance's hand or kiss him and *not* have to think that I'm opening myself up to the possibility of a gay bashing...well, that'll say a lot for mainstream acceptance of gays.

    I've never asked my straight-couple friends, but I think it's safe to say that when they kiss in public, they are not wondering if they will be violently attacked at any moment because of their sexual orientation.

    PDA in public is but one of many, many examples you could whip out to demonstrate that we are still not accepted. The US federal govt denies us marriage rights and employment non-discrimination protections, and many of us (myself included) must pretend to be sexless, boyfriend-less sons when we go home for the holidays even if we've already come out to our families!

    Blessed (I guess) are the ignorant who aren't aware of such issues....

    Posted by: redball | Apr 16, 2011 10:29:27 AM

  20. I got rimmed on the front steps of the pub ... that'll show the straights to accept us!

    Posted by: Protester | Apr 16, 2011 12:28:05 PM

  21. @go.galt,

    British [English,etc.,] media coverage is distorted. The UK officially is VERY PC....unofficially is another story, and they don't have an alternative media on the same level as what exists in the U.S.


    Too many people go over-board with the younger generation angle. Aside from the fact it's untrue young people [whatever your definition] are anymore particularly gay-friendly or 'Progressive' than others, people also change as they mature and age. It's a simple fact people, in general, get more conservative as they age/mature and there are many reasons for this. And I question how many young people are really that 'Progressive'. I seriously doubt you could get a majority of young people to describe themselves as Democrats here in America, for example. Most are undoubtedly if anything apolitical and apathetic. Apathy isn't the same as acceptance.

    Posted by: pretty rat boy | Apr 16, 2011 4:02:41 PM

  22. Thank you all for your posts. I feel a connection I haven't felt before. You all give this old man "hope". Don't forget to love your selfs. You make me feel the pride
    we do have, as we should, but sometimes forget. Love & Hugs to us all.

    Posted by: terryp | Apr 16, 2011 6:34:20 PM

  23. America was a pioneer in free speech and civil protest. As long as we've had a government, we've had people complaining about it. Conflict and protest are integral to that system. Opting out from that conflict means opting out of the decision making process. If you're not part of the solution, then you're precipitate, and you will be filtered out. In other words: Silence=Death. You gotta fight. For your right. To paaarty.
    Watching other countries use the techniques we've seemingly abandoned is embarrassing. Watching them support the law over a kiss when we won't enforce the law over unpunished (or under-punished) violence is shameful. Perhaps I am being naive. I'll own it as being blissfully unaware. Since I'm already aware that some people think I should suffer more, simply so they can suffer less, it must be bliss to not know a darker truth.

    @pretty rat boy It is a basic assumption on my part that all media is distorted and manipulated. Sometimes I forget to mention that basic fact when commenting on the particulars about it. All I was saying was that the British (island of Britannia: English, Scottish, and Welsh--not Ireland or the other minor islands) media seems to be distorted in a different way than the American media on gay themed stories, so drawing conclusions from one towards the other is illogical.

    Posted by: Go Galt. Please. | Apr 16, 2011 10:40:14 PM

  24. @go-galt,

    There's zero difference between the way the English, Scottish and Welsh media report gay issues and the Irish. And I wouldn't consider Ireland to be a 'Minor' part of the British Isles.

    And no actually, I'm not Irish.

    Posted by: pretty rat boy | Apr 17, 2011 12:22:02 PM

  25. The protesters should be there EVERY day and let the pub lose money.

    ALWAYS, when it involves money, businesses finally get the message that DISCRIMINATION DOES NOT PAY!

    Posted by: FunMe | Apr 17, 2011 2:50:40 PM

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