Gay bar threw out kissing straight couple, tribunal told

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The Independent Online

A manager of a gay bar was told to discriminate against heterosexuals and ordered to throw out a straight couple for kissing, an employment tribunal was told yesterday.

Angelo Vigil, the assistant manager of G-A-Y bar in Soho, London, said the venue's co- director and licensee, Jeremy Joseph, ordered him to deny entry to heterosexual couples as well as mixed groups of gay and straight revellers.

Mr Vigil, of Barons Court, west London, started working at the club, which is owned by the Mean Fiddler Music Group, in September 2002. He resigned three months later and is claiming victimisation and harassment. He told the tribunal in Woburn Place that he understood the importance of preventing homophobia in the bar, but he believed the policy amounted to discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.

He said when he raised concerns over the policy, he was told by Mr Joseph that he would "face the sack" if he "did not change his attitude".

Andre Edwards, the bar's chief bouncer who was giving evidence on behalf of the company, denied there was a general policy of barring straight people from entry.

The hearing continues.