Wellington bar disputes gay kiss story

  • 23/04/2012

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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