Saturday, 16 April 2011

“I want to blow you all (a kiss)”: Kiss-in picket in front of John Snow pub, Soho, London

You know you are in trouble when your pub made the front page of The Guardian, and became a headlining news in British media for all the wrong reasons.
Yes, they (pub managers) knew it, and they shut down their pub mid-afternoon on Friday (!) Friday night, anyone?
Gay couple on their first date got asked out from the John Snow pub in London’s Soho district for snogging in public. For details of the story - read here.

This incident generated a lively debate on whether it’s OK to display (and to what extent) affections in public. But the key is in this quote from The Guardian: “The case is intriguing legally. The Licensing Act 2003 gives a landlord the right to eject customers. But the Equality Act 2010 says everyone must be treated equally in the provision of goods and services. For a successful defence against any legal action under the act, the landlord would have to prove he had ejected heterosexual couples for similiarly overt displays of intimacy.”

I doubt they would be able to prove it.

Activists mobilised via Facebook and Twitter to stage a kiss-in picket inside and in front of the pub. As soon as the news of protests and media headlines spread, pub managers shut down the pub. Cowards.

Interestingly, kiss-in protest happened on a day when many (including in Armenia) were marking the Day of Silence. Although not directly related, these two events were similar in spirit.

Here is how the events unfolded, via pictures and a video I took.

Prominent British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell

Raising the Rainbow Flag (video)

“I want to blow you all (a kiss)”
Snogging of the Day ;)
“Love Music Hate Homophobia”
Homophobia. Diverted.

1 comment:

Rhiannon said...

my friend Dave commented that the gay couple shouldn't have been in there - 'because it's a terrible pub with awful beer and normally gay men have better taste', ha ha! ;)