Wellington bar disputes gay kiss story
Mon, 23 Apr 2012 6:17p.m.
By Jerram Watts
A Wellington lesbian couple who kissed in a Wellington bar are complaining to the Human Rights Commission after being asked to leave the bar.
The bar, whose owner says it is gay-friendly and employs some gay people, disputes the couple's claim, saying they were lying on a table and acting inappropriately.
When Rebekah Galbraith kissed her girlfriend Jennie Leadbeater good night early on Sunday morning she believes that act of love lead to them being asked to leave the Courtney Place bar, Public.
“I leaned over the table to kiss her on the lips and within two seconds the man had come over, he tapped us on the shoulder and told us that we had to leave immediately, we asked for a reason and he didn’t give us one,” Ms Galbraith says.
Ms Galbraith posted her concerns on her Facebook page in an open letter to the management of Public and the Human Rights Commission.
“I was incredibly embarrassed, I got on to Courtney Place, they thought I was being unruly or made a mess of the bar but I wasn't, I just kissed my girlfriend.
The bar manager Steven Reynolds disputes that version and says the young women were acting inappropriately on a table, and his bouncer followed protocol.
“The protocol is to give them a little tap on the shoulder and say tone it down, bear in mind we are a restaurant bar and regardless of the time we want to portray that image.”
Ms Galbraith says she is not taking aim at Public - but is upset by the bouncer's actions.
But Mr Reynolds says he has no problem with the bouncer.
“We have known him for a very long time and in no way has he been homophobic.”
Ms Galbraith and Ms Leadbeater are writing to the Human Rights Commission, and say all they want from the bar is an apology, and some special training for the bouncer.
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25/04/2012 11:53:27 p.m.
andrew harris wrote:
@jasonB84- Have you actually reviewed the evidence presented and considered the subsequent actions of the two complainants or were you just responding emotionally without any thought process? This is not about being gay at all it's about Public discretion of what they considered lewd behaviour no matter what your orientation is. Patrons felt uncomfortable with the couple behaviour, they were asked to leave by management. If you believe this was simply a kiss after considering the evidence, god help us all. To end, the complaints followers on Facebook are simply emotionally charged and proponents of Gay rights rather than the incident in dispute. Take a step back, consider what would have taken place to spur a request to leave in a bar that is openly gay in regard to its employees, patrons and owners family.
25/04/2012 2:55:46 p.m.
andrew harris that is just homophobia on your part get a life
25/04/2012 4:21:38 a.m.
You have to be ignorant to think that a simple kiss will get you dismissed from a classey joint like courtney place. After a few glasses, and your rearing to go, doesnt matter if you fancy straight, bi`s, or even fruit. inappropriate nonsense shouldnt be tolerated in public. And if someone out there had done a sneaky and filmed it, please paste it on youtube with there names, so we can have a peek and help the Human rights commission make an informed decision. That will be the best way to settle this. Lots of thumbs up or thumbs down on a public forum is the only way to go.
24/04/2012 1:08:51 p.m.
It is anti discrimination as far I'm concerned but rules are rules and depending how staff and management see it, if it doesn't look good to them, then will be refused entrance for whatever the reason or a person/s may be acting inappropriately... that's just the way it is today.... just saying
24/04/2012 1:37:48 a.m.
Yup, not even sure what this is about except that I assume one of you wants to be either a lawyer or have a career in Media. Grow up, bars can kick you out for ANY reason its their right!! PS I work in security and it is not a mere kiss that would see us ask someone to leave, I would highly suspect the bouncer had received complaints and/or your not being honest in your actions, perhaps a kiss goodnight to you is inappropriate in public lesbian porn to others? Agree with Andrew Harris, do you really think facebook is the correct format for this, just makes you look immature & petty
24/04/2012 1:18:35 a.m.
Andrew Harris so if you were in a gay bar and you kissed your female partner, and as a result you were kicked out of the bar - would you be happy? It is illegal for the bar to discriminate against a person on there true or assumed sexual orientation. I wonder how many heterosexual couples were kissing that night, and how many were kicked out as a result.
23/04/2012 7:22:32 p.m.
What a silly immature couple with little understanding of the licensing law.
The bar owner has the right to ask you to leave without explanation.
The couples allegation has little evidence other than manufactured corroboration with each other. The fact that the complainant posted on Facebook reinforces their level of intellect and commonsense. The complainants personality is exacerbated through her claim to lay a complaint with the HRC. It's like a spoilt child being ignored. One would have thought the couples first line of mature recourse would be to speak with the owner, no so, "let's post like a child scorned". Remember ladies, once you have posted online it's hard to retract. The request of 'training' for the doorman is nothing short of arrogant. Do this couple believe they are superior in both social convention and position, do we really believe a bar where gay people are employed and attend would eject a same sex couple for simply kissing? How about this ladies, the bar lays a criminal complaint of offensive sexual behaviour in a public place which it can likely substantiate with witnesses or CTV?
You have simply made fools of yourselves. It's yesterdays news, move on.
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