Two gay men who were told to leave Soho pub the John Snow for kissing, after the landlord branded them “obscene”, have gained citywide support and triggered a kiss-in at the same pub.
*The latest news is that the John Snow has closed ahead of tonight’s kiss-in.*
Gay couple Jonathan Williams and James Bull were ejected from the John Snow pub in central London when the landlord apparently became upset by their public kissing.
Both bystanders and the men involved claim that they were not being “obscene” and were simply enjoying a pint and a snog like any other couple on a first date.
“It made me feel dirty. I’ve never experienced anything like this before,” Bull said.
After being kicked out of the John Snow, Williams was straight on Twitter.
“Seven years in London & I’ve never been made to feel bad for being gay. 45 min ago the John Snow pub, W1F had me removed for kissing a date,” he tweeted.
The post was picked up and retweeted, gathering support across London.
Two kiss-in events have now been scheduled at the John Snow. Nearly 700 people have pledged to turn up and kiss at the first one tonight and 900 for the second next Thursday.
Find out about them here:
The Facebook page for the first event reads: “The John Snow pub in Soho kicked out a gay couple for kissing late the night before last.
“Today, we’re responding with a MASSIVE SAME-SEX SNOGATHON.”
“Swing by, have a snog, and go on your merry way!” says the second.
The story was front-page news for some papers this morning and the couple have been interviewed for the BBC World Service, BBC London Radio and 5 Live.
Soho’s John Snow pub has not yet commented on the story, but a woman who was drinking in the pub at the same time as Bull and Williams told the Guardian:
“I was totally shocked. Dumbfounded really. From a pub in the middle of Soho you just don’t expect it.”
She continued that “no one seemed to mind apart from this one man”.
According to Bull, after being asked to leave because their kissing was “bothering” the landlord, the couple were approached a second time by a woman in staff uniform.
“She said we had to leave because we were being obscene. Then the other guy from earlier came over again and said we had to leave now, we ‘weren’t allowed to do that’.”
Bull and Williams claim they were then forcibly ejected from the pub.
So who’s up for a kiss-in tonight then?