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Kiss sees lesbians turfed out of Wellington bar

Mon 23 Apr 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News

Public A Wellington lesbian is complaining to both a Courtenay Place bar and the Human Rights Commission after she says she was thrown out for kissing her girlfriend on Saturday night. “At 2.50am, as we were leaving for a taxi, I leaned over to briefly kiss my girlfriend, something I had not done yet as we were in the company of friends, when a man abruptly tapped me on the shoulder and informed both of us to leave, immediately,” Rebekah Galbraith has written to the bar, Public, and shared on Facebook. “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',” she continues. “Now I'm not one to have terrible faith in humanity, but this kind of treatment is appalling. We were by ourselves as our friends had left, and defenseless. Your management only approached us when we were alone and had no witnesses. You 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'.” “So 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. “I have no qualms about going to the press with this story. I have already begun to inform the gay community in Wellington, and you will receive my letter, a copy of which will be sent to the HRC, within the week.” Someone purporting to be the owner has replied on Facebook: “I am disappointed that I have to defend my business and myself as being owner of Public on Facebook...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 gay straight black or white or otherwise I couldn't give a shit...what I do care about is you slagging off my business....”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 23rd April 2012 - 11:24am

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