INDEPENDENT NEWS

Wellington bar boots lesbian couple for kissing

Published: Mon 23 Apr 2012 10:30 AM
Wellington bar boots lesbian couple for kissing
A popular Wellington hotspot has come under fire online after a lesbian couple were allegedly asked to leave the bar after a staff member spotted them kissing.
Rebekah Galbraith wrote an open letter to the management of Public yesterday expressing her disgust at the actions of Public staff, stating that she is taking her story to the press and the Human Rights Commission.
In her letter, Rebekah says she and her partner were leaving Public on early Sunday morning, when she leaned over to “briefly kiss” her girlfriend; that’s when trouble started.
“A man abruptly tapped me on the shoulder and informed both of us to leave, immediately,” she says. “Considering I had seen this man constantly by the bar the entire evening, and given the speed at which he obviously moved to interrupt us and kick us out, I have no doubt he was watching us for the entire time we were at Public.
“When we asked why we had to leave, no reason was given, just the repeated command; ‘you need to leave, both of you now’.”
Rebekah says the treatment was appalling, because the pair was approached alone. She says the staff member “targeted us, you humiliated us without reason, and you kicked us onto Courtenay Place”.
“We were not heavily intoxicated, we were not unruly, we were not causing trouble. I just kissed her.
“When standing on the street, I turned to the man who kicked us out and said this would not happen if we were a straight couple. And he agreed, and shrugged, and said ‘it’s not my place’, and with a smirk, claimed he ‘wished it could be different’.”
Rebekah’s call to management is, “Make it different”.
“How dare you make us feel marginalised in a bar, somewhere we consider to be open and accepting. Club Ivy has closed down; do you just think gay couples are going to stay at home? I am embarrassed for your management. I pity the fact you feel this kind of treatment is acceptable. It is not.”
A person posting as the Public page and listing themselves as the owner replied to the post and said:
“I am not only disappointed that you had a bad experience last night at Public. I am also disappointed not only my business but myself as being owner of this business. I am the last person to be homophobic – not only do I have a niece and a sister who are gay I also have staff working for me who are gay. Whether your [sic] gay straight black or white or otherwise I couldn’t give a shit. What I do care about is you slagging off my business.”
Wellington’s young queer activist group The Queer Avengers are discussing a “pash-in” at the bar this week and say it is “like a sit-in, but with more pashing”.
ends

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