Facebook Group Call for Boycott of ‘Homophobic’ City Barge

Manager denies discrimination claiming couple were displaying ‘unacceptable behaviour’

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A new group has been launched on social networking site Facebook calling for a boycott of ‘homophobic’ City Barge.

The group’s creator states that “if I can get 1,000 people who believe that couples of any sexuality should be entitled to the same respect to join this group before next Sunday 1st March then a point will have been made.”

He is referring to an incident that occurred on Sunday 22nd February when a gay couple went for a lunchtime drink in The City Barge Pub.

According to the details on Facebook, “after about half an hour in the pub they were approached and asked by the manager to stop kissing as three of his customers had complained and left.

The couple were so surprised to be asked this as they had visited the pub before and had only kissed each other very lightly a couple of times since being there. Do you think the manager would ever say this to a straight couple?”

City Barge manager Adrian Diggory denies that the couple being asked to leave had anything to do with their sexuality. He told ChiswickW4.com, “Any couple kissing in an inappropriate manner would have been asked to stop, especially on a busy Sunday afternoon in a family pub, there is no question of any homophobia or prejudice.”

He added, “The couple in question were not asked to leave but only to tone down their behaviour, as anyone would have been. Three people walked out of the premises and many more complained about the couple’s behaviour, it was not as "innocent" as has been made out.

"I hope that people will realise that the manager was put in a very difficult situation and that this issue has been blown out of all proportion”

According to the Facebook author more than 1,000 read about the incident in 48 hours and urges users to “keep sharing any experiences of a similar nature and may the debate continue as a stimulant for social change!"

Diggory reiterated his stance on the matter saying, “We do not discriminate on race, sexuality, age, disability, gender or religion. All customers are treated the same. This issue is about acceptable behaviour.

“No couple would be "thrown out" of my pub for embracing or kissing. All are welcome here however excessive acts of affection (as were shown on Sunday) will be acted upon.”

February 27, 2009