A London bar is facing heavy criticism after a woman claimed that her male friends were ejected by restaurant staff for publicly kissing and that she was verbally abused by a bouncer.
According to The Independent, a male couple was ejected Tuesday night from Balans in Soho, London, a neighborhood heavily frequented by the gay community and known for its gay-friendly nightlife. Their female friend reported that they were asked to leave because "they had been seen kissing and that was offensive to the general people at the bar."
The woman, who wrote an account of the evening on Facebook, stated that her friends, Dorian and Raffa, were "hustled" out of the restaurant. She continued: "I said this was strange in a gay restaurant... at which point a bouncer physically removed me from the building.
Upon leaving the bar, she noted her interaction with the female bouncer who had just ejected her: "(She) looked me in the eye as she said on her phone to whoever she was talking to: 'This fat dyke was looking out for them, she needs to eat the shit of [sic] my shoes, she should get raped on the way home.'"
This is not the first time customers have complained of anti-gay sentiment from Balans employees. Earlier this year, gay playwright Jonathan Harvey spoke of the "menacing bouncers" that worked there.
A Facebook page called "Do the Right Thing, Balans" was set up overnight and has already garnered hundreds of likes and comments. It calls upon the restaurant chain, which locations in the U.S., to publicly apologize. Balans, in the meantime, has released an official statement, saying that the incident was merely "a behavioural issue." They defended their staff, stating "we do not tolerate abusive behaviour toward our staff."
In spite of the huge strides in recent years made by proponents of LGBT equality, there have been several high-profile setbacks for the gay community this year. Last night in New York City, a gay couple was horrifically beaten at a restaurant in Chelsea. In Indiana, anti-gay pizzeria Memories Pizza raised nearly $1 million in response to their refusal to hypothetically cater any same-sex matrimonies.