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Mench kissing in the UK
April 15, 2011 6:28 AM   Subscribe

"I'm not the kind of person to do that kind of thing in public," says Jonathan Williams, one of two men on a first date asked to leave the John Snow pub for "obscene" behavior on Wednesday.

The John Snow is described in much of the reportage as being in London's traditionally gay-friendly Soho, but is a little distant from Old Compton Street, the spiritual heart of gay London (and site of London's first and last homophobic terrorist attack).

Apparently asked to leave for being "obscene", the two - and the pub - have become caught up in a debate about the relative acceptability of different forms of PDA. In an immediate response kiss-ins are being scheduled at the venue.

Paul Shetler, organising tonight's kiss-in, told Gaydar Radio (YT, accompanied by still images of shirtless men kissing) that this is the third such incident he has heard of in the last month in London.

However, a former president of the Licensers and Vintners Association has stood up for the right of publicans to eject whomever they like for whatever reason, in an argument not far from Rand Paul's objections to the intrusion of the Civil Rights Acts into private enterprise.

Satirical newspaper The Daily Mash, meanwhile, has speculated on what might have happened if the couple had been different in one small but significant fashion (headshot of two people kissing).

What John Snow, confirmed bachelor, teetotaller and father of epidemiology, would think about the whole thing is unclear. At the very least, he might find the rapid transmission of information to organize the protest fascinating.
posted by running order squabble fest (90 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
If two men can't snog in Soho then I don't know what the world's coming to.
posted by Summer at 6:31 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Soho? What they were doing was totally inappropriate. What if some sex shop worker was passing by and had to see dudes kissing?
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:32 AM on April 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


I believe that a venue owner should be able to evict any person from his or her premises at any time for any reason, provided that the owner posts, publicly and visibly at the entrance to the venue, a complete list of all legal activities for which a patron may be evicted. If you're a bigoted asshole, I want to know about it before I give you any of my money.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:36 AM on April 15, 2011 [26 favorites]


The whole thing is pretty shocking - even though it's a way away from Old Compton Street, the area does have a very gay-friendly character. The King's Arms, for example, is a fantastic gay pub catering to the bear community which is nearby but even further away from the heart of Soho.

I've been drinking in the John Snow for years. More than once in recent weeks, I've kissed my girlfriend there, tongues and all, without any trouble whatsoever (we're a heterosexual couple).

As it stands, I don't think I'll be going back. There are plenty of fine alternatives in the area.
posted by Ted Maul at 6:36 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seeing their picture, I'm reminded of the two dudes I saw holding hands on the train the other day. They looked exactly alike. Both had the same hipstery haircut, both had the same black, thick-rimmed glasses, both were wearing gray hoodies, both were wearing skinny jeans... They were dressed alike in an unintentional-looking way, too, not like they were trying to dress alike for a party or something, but because that's just the way that they dress.

It made me laugh because yeah, if I could figure out a way to swing it, I'd want to date myself, too.
posted by phunniemee at 6:40 AM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


The event has triggered a public debate on open displays of affection, how much is too much, and whether Williams and Bull were treated differently because they are gay.

WHETHER they were treated differently because they are gay? Really, is there any question at all to that? Obviously they were. It's just sad how hateful and petty some bigoted people can be.

I guess you could say that, hey, it's privately owned and the owner can evict anyone, but I know I would feel humiliated if I were asked to leave for kissing someone, especially if I were on a first date and worried about first impressions anyway.

This pub is definitely going to lose a lot of business over this, and rightfully so.
posted by misha at 6:43 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to hope this isn't a Sam Smith policy at large! Sam Smith pubs are the best.
posted by timshel at 6:43 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


if I could figure out a way to swing it, I'd want to date myself, too.

Not me. Curley and Curley's house would be pretty filthy.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:44 AM on April 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Oh, and that Daily Mash link is brilliant.
posted by misha at 6:45 AM on April 15, 2011


It made me laugh because yeah, if I could figure out a way to swing it, I'd want to date myself, too.

There are plenty of straight couples who are exactly the same way. Painting it as a gay thing perpetuates an old stereotype of dismissing homosexual love as some sort of twisted, sublimated narcissism.
posted by hermitosis at 6:48 AM on April 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


Nooo I really like that pub!

This is amazingly foolish-- it's all young media types in that pub. They had better backtrack in a huge and spactacular fashion quickly-- I'm thinking free pints for all participants in the kiss-in.
posted by Erasmouse at 6:55 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to add the slight derail that not only was John Snow the father of epidemiology, he also advanced the discipline of obstetric anesthesia when he anesthetized Queen Victoria over the objections of other physicians who at the time believed pain was necessary for childbirth (link to longish PDF).
posted by TedW at 6:55 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


anesthetized Queen Victoria

We Are Not Awake.
posted by jonmc at 6:56 AM on April 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


hermitosis: " There are plenty of straight couples who are exactly the same way. Painting it as a gay thing perpetuates an old stereotype of dismissing homosexual love as some sort of twisted, sublimated narcissism."

It didn't read to me as if phunniemee was painting it as a gay thing. Just a thing.
posted by zarq at 6:59 AM on April 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


There are plenty of straight couples who are exactly the same way. Painting it as a gay thing perpetuates an old stereotype of dismissing homosexual love as some sort of twisted, sublimated narcissism.

*eyeroll* No one said it's a gay thing. No matter how like my boyfriend I am, I'm never going to look like him, three inches shorter than me with his broad shoulders and perma-stubble. An old roommate of mine, however, she and her boyfriend both had the exact same body type (tall, very skinny), the same hair color and length (though hers was curly), and the same smile. Could have been brother and sister. Weren't. Were dating. Though I'm probably perpetuating some old stereotype and dismissing their heterosexual love as some sort of twisted, sublimated narcissism.
posted by phunniemee at 7:02 AM on April 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


It didn't read to me as if phunniemee was painting it as a gay thing. Just a thing.

I'm just pointing out that this stereotype exists, before other people who don't know better start rolling out with comments and lulz about the identical gays they've spotted in the wild.
posted by hermitosis at 7:06 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


psst, it's Friday. FRIDAY!
posted by desjardins at 7:07 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Back in, oh, 1996, I was in The John Snow with a girl, second date I think. Sitting around from us was a gay man and two excitable blonde women who were laughing uncontrollably at everything he said. It was very annoying. The evening wore on, the girl and I were in the first throes of mutual infatuation and we started kissing. The gay guy said loudly and pointedly something to the effect that 'neither of you are good-looking enough to be doing that in public'. So we stopped what we were doing and I said something vicious back and the girl in question threatened to kill him. He may have had a point, but he was being nasty to get a laugh. But we left it. Walked away. The girl and I have been married for eleven years now, we have a beautiful daughter who we encourage to be kind, and somewhere, I hope the others are looking into the empty wells of their souls and weeping. Live and let live.
posted by tigrefacile at 7:11 AM on April 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


There's a 'kiss-in' planned for 7pm tonight. The Guardian is liveblogging it.
posted by Myeral at 7:12 AM on April 15, 2011


misha: WHETHER they were treated differently because they are gay? Really, is there any question at all to that? Obviously they were.

It certainly sounds like it, from the eyewitness reports - they didn't appear to be doing anything too outré or ambitious. It reminded me of another recent story on MetaFilter, where content that would have been G-rated with a straight couple was assumed (incorrectly but not incomprehensibly) to be restricted for mature audiences if the couple involved were gay. This seems to be operating in the same area - that it's intrinsically sexier if two men are kissing than if a man and a woman are kissing.

What that says about the straight mind, or at least the straight mind of the people involved, I have no idea.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:12 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


And of course, the kiss-in is already mentioned in the post. *Face slap*
posted by Myeral at 7:13 AM on April 15, 2011


hermitosis: " I'm just pointing out that this stereotype exists

Ok.

before other people who don't know better start rolling out with comments and lulz about the identical gays they've spotted in the wild."

That didn't strike me as something that was likely to happen from her comment.
posted by zarq at 7:16 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually a couple of dudes were playing tonsil hockey in one of the remoter aisles of my store a few weeks back. I wasn't bothered, but since it's a family joint, I figured there should be some ground rules: straight couples get 10 minutes of PDA. Gay male couples likewise. Lesbians get an hour.
posted by jonmc at 7:20 AM on April 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


phunniemee: " No matter how like my boyfriend I am, I'm never going to look like him, three inches shorter than me with his broad shoulders and perma-stubble."

My wife and I look enough like brother and sister (even though she's a foot shorter than me) that people have asked if we were. A couple of months ago, my wife responded to someone who asked, "Oh, yes. And these are our children."
posted by zarq at 7:23 AM on April 15, 2011 [32 favorites]


My solidarity for these guys is trumped by my enjoyment of reasonably priced beer in central London. Unless there is video of Same Smith himself beheading kittens, I'll be smoking in the garden of The Angel on Saturday drinking cherry beer and then in a snug of The Princess Louise. And then The Old Cheshire Cheese. And then back to The Chandos. Then The Champion. Then The Blue Post. Then The Glasshouse. Then back to The Jon Snow and that one of Carnaby St.
posted by Damienmce at 7:26 AM on April 15, 2011


Their peace was shattered when a fellow drinker, who claimed to be the landlord, asked them to refrain from kissing because it was "bothering" him. Williams and Bull said they were not indulging in a "huge display of affection" but were merely kissing on the lips. The couple refused what they said was a "polite request" and their stay continued unhindered. At about 10.45pm, a woman who said she was the landlady intervened.

She added that "no one seemed to mind apart from this one man". She said she spoke to bar staff who confirmed the man who raised the first objections was the landlord, before both she and Morton were also asked to leave.

I gotta say, and I'm not defending this landlord in any way, but as one who spends much time in bars, it is my observation that that once the bartender makes a "polite request" and tells you to stop doing something - whatever it is - and you don't stop doing it - you generally find yourself being escorted to the door.

It doesn't make it right, but it's how it works. Good thing there are plenty of pubs and bars to choose from.
posted by three blind mice at 7:27 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


They looked exactly alike.

My spouse and I basically dress exactly alike, and we'd probably look really similar if I had a Y or he had an X. We're saved by the fact that I have tits and an ass, and he has shoulders.

So yay X chromosome, I guess, all saving me from accusations of narcissism.
posted by muddgirl at 7:27 AM on April 15, 2011


My solidarity for these guys is trumped by my enjoyment of reasonably priced beer in central London. Unless there is video of Same Smith himself beheading kittens, I'll be smoking in the garden of The Angel on Saturday drinking cherry beer and then in a snug of The Princess Louise. And then The Old Cheshire Cheese. And then back to The Chandos. Then The Champion. Then The Blue Post. Then The Glasshouse. Then back to The Jon Snow and that one of Carnaby St.

It is not clear whether ejecting gay couples for acting too gay is Samuel Smith's policy or if the landlord acted alone. Samuel Smith's have not made a statement one way or the other.

Anyway, there's no shortage of other Sam Smith's in central London.
posted by acb at 7:30 AM on April 15, 2011


That didn't strike me as something that was likely to happen from her comment.

Well not to be gay policeman or anything, but I think it's important to pipe up about these things right at the outset, just in case.

And anyway, I disagree -- despite her backing away from the suggestion that this was "a gay thing," phunniemee pointed out the gay couple in the article, referred to another gay couple she'd seen IRL, and then joked about dating a literal copy of herself. It was a jokey (however thoughtless) comment which was not made out of any desire to be hurtful, but just in case I offered a simple reminder about an existing stereotype that has been used to criticize homosexuality. Being civil and aboveboard about it is how we nip things in the bud and (hopefully) stay out of MeTa.
posted by hermitosis at 7:32 AM on April 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


. . . homosexual love as some sort of twisted, sublimated narcissism.

Feature, not a bug.
posted by General Tonic at 7:32 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damienmce, if any couple, regardless of gender, are snogging against the bar billiards table in the Glasshouse Stores they ought to be ejected immediately. The thing's rickety enough as it is.
posted by tigrefacile at 7:35 AM on April 15, 2011


Sure, he has the right to evict whomever he wants, and everyone else has the right to boycott his pub until he has to sell it for next to nothing.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:35 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


psst, it's Friday. FRIDAY!

Woo! restless_nomad's first shift! Let's make it a doozy, folks!
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:36 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


hermitosis: " Well not to be gay policeman or anything, but I think it's important to pipe up about these things right at the outset, just in case. "

Ok. I can understand that. I do the same thing on other topics.

hermitosis: "Being civil and aboveboard about it is how we nip things in the bud and (hopefully) stay out of MeTa."

Yep.
posted by zarq at 7:36 AM on April 15, 2011


Sure, he has the right to evict whomever he wants, and everyone else has the right to boycott his pub until he has to sell it for next to nothing.

How is the pub ownership structured? Does the landlord own it and have a franchise with Samuel Smith's, or does Sam Smith's own it and hire the landlord as an employee?
posted by acb at 7:40 AM on April 15, 2011


Metafilter: sort of twisted, sublimated narcissism
posted by chavenet at 7:42 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


This seems completely stupid to me and I suspect everyone involved should get over themselves.
posted by Segundus at 7:44 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: This seems completely stupid to me and I suspect everyone involved should get over themselves.
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:49 AM on April 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


it's intrinsically sexier if two men are kissing than if a man and a woman are kissing

I absolutely agree.

Wait... that wasn't the point, was it? :/
posted by desjardins at 7:59 AM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


So we stopped what we were doing and I said something vicious back and the girl in question threatened to kill him. He may have had a point, but he was being nasty to get a laugh. But we left it. Walked away. The girl and I have been married for eleven years now, we have a beautiful daughter who we encourage to be kind

Slightly offtopic, but I kind of hope you encourage her not to threaten to kill gay men, however annoying they might be, if they aren't posing an immediate danger to her life.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:01 AM on April 15, 2011


On the one hand: what an arse.
On the other: very reasonably priced Nut Brown Ale and Taddy Porter.
On your feet: plenty of other nicer Sam Smiths around the west end. John Snow was always a little pokey, a little grotty, felt like it had teleported in from 1980s Camden
posted by davemee at 8:01 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This seems completely stupid to me and I suspect everyone involved should get over themselves.

It's true! Bigotry should just be ignored!

It reminded me of another recent story on MetaFilter, where content that would have been G-rated with a straight couple was assumed (incorrectly but not incomprehensibly) to be restricted for mature audiences if the couple involved were gay. This seems to be operating in the same area - that it's intrinsically sexier if two men are kissing than if a man and a woman are kissing.

Which also brings to mind the idiots in fandom who insist that any slash fic is automatically rated R or higher.
posted by kmz at 8:04 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Back in, oh, 1996, I was in The John Snow with a girl, second date I think. Sitting around from us was a gay man and two excitable blonde women who were laughing uncontrollably at everything he said.

A guy in a pub talking to two excitable blonde women? How did you know he was gay?
posted by layceepee at 8:08 AM on April 15, 2011


but I kind of hope you encourage her not to threaten to kill gay men someone, however annoying they might be, if they aren't posing an immediate danger to her life
posted by inigo2 at 8:15 AM on April 15, 2011


Slightly offtopic, but I kind of hope you encourage her not to threaten to kill gay men, however annoying they might be, if they aren't posing an immediate danger to her life.

Never came up.

How did you know he was gay?


They were very loud and they were on the next table.
posted by tigrefacile at 8:20 AM on April 15, 2011


Everybody stop being that guy k?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:26 AM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Slightly offtopic, but I kind of hope you encourage her not to threaten to kill gay men, however annoying they might be, if they aren't posing an immediate danger to her life.

Equality means if someone's being enough of a dick you can threaten to kill them, protected class or not.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:29 AM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


anesthetized Queen Victoria

We Are Not Awake.


Actually, the quote attributed to her was "We are having this baby and We are having the chloroform!"
posted by TedW at 8:31 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Back in, oh, 1996, I was in The John Snow with a girl, second date I think."

The first time I read this I somehow skipped right over the words "second date".

I have to admit, it did make the story a lot more interesting.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:41 AM on April 15, 2011


Apparently the John Snow pub has closed its doors, as if in fear of the impending onslaught of gayness.
posted by acb at 8:43 AM on April 15, 2011


but I kind of hope you encourage her not to threaten to kill gay men someone, however annoying they might be, if they aren't posing an immediate danger to her life

Ably corrected - obviously, threats of murder should never be a first recourse, and when dispensed should be done so regardless of sexuality. I was thinking mainly of the topic here - which is gay men being treated differently for doing things in bars than straight people might be - homosexuality as a force multiplier of the reaction engendered, in effect. Just being visibly gay can make people quite angry in itself, and sometimes lead to a violent reaction - and I think that is often baked into gay men's perceptions of threat from what is almost certainly bar-room bravado.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:45 AM on April 15, 2011


Bizarrely I am writing a movie about John Snow right now. (Based on the fantastic book The Ghost Map).
posted by unSane at 8:46 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mayor Curley: "if I could figure out a way to swing it, I'd want to date myself, too.

Not me. Curley and Curley's house would be pretty filthy.
"

Curley, if you knew me, I'd be sure this was a dig at me and my partner and our sometimes (often) embarrassing housekeeping skills.

------
Dear Bigoted Folks Fearful of Same-Sex Kissing,

Like the man quoted in the post above, I too am not much for kissing in public. I generally find PDA tacky except in gay bars with backrooms. (As my father always said, go big or go home.) However, the more often things like this happen, the more often I am forced to view my 'not kissing' as some sort of way that The Man is keeping me down, so kissing my partner goodbye/hello/in passing in public becomes a political act that I find myself doing despite myself.

In other words, the more you call two men kissing "obscene", the more likely it is for me to fight my natural urges to not kiss in public. So just fucking stop it, okay? Until then, I'll not not kiss in protest, and neither one of us will be comfortable.

Sincerely,
MCMikeNamara

PS My father has probably never said 'go big or go home' at all, and especially not in regards to public sex spaces.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:47 AM on April 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


Twisted, sublimated narcissism or not, I'd date the hell out of me, because I am AWESOME.

::surreptitiously stares into reflective surface::
posted by FatherDagon at 8:48 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would be in a band with like three more of me. We would play a lot of coop video games.
posted by cortex at 8:49 AM on April 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


We would play a lot of coop video games.

coop? Like Chickens of the Apocalypse VII? Planet of Poultrycraft? Like that?
posted by jonmc at 8:51 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the Guardian liveblog a few hours ago:
12noon: BREAKING: Kiss couple will go on a second date, I've been told. More shortly.

12.19pm: James Bull, one half of the kissing duo who've taken the nation by storm, has confirmed to the Guardian that he and Williams will meet again.

"We'd already made plans for the second date before we got to the John Snow," Bull said.

Cautious of the pressures inherent with conducting a relationship in the public eye, Bull said he would "rather not say" where the rendezvous will take place, but confirmed it will happen at some point after Easter.

Bull also revealed further details about the fateful night itself.

"We went to Fire and Stone, near Covent Garden, and both had pizzas," he said, adding that he could not remember what toppings they selected.

Exiting the restaurant, Bull and Williams then enjoyed Belgian chocolate crêpes at Crêpeaffaire, before heading for the John Snow.
That's some pretty Onionesque writing.
posted by Vibrissa at 8:52 AM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Just after the Easter holiday seems to be a big time for couples who have, through no fault of their own, become symbols of something bigger.
posted by acb at 8:54 AM on April 15, 2011


I've had at least one partner who looked so much like me that the (slightly tipsy) host of a party kept switching between thinking we were going out and that we were siblings. It was the cause of facial transitions I've never seen before or since.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:55 AM on April 15, 2011


I remember once walking out of a pub on the main drag in Soho and being asked by some American college student-types on the pavement outside, 'Is this like a normal pub?'
posted by Flashman at 9:05 AM on April 15, 2011


From the Guardian liveblog a few hours ago:

...And as of half an hour ago: "It's become clear that the John Snow pub has closed its doors, presumably fearful of the avalanche of snogging that was about to descend upon it. "

No surprise there but, awww, shoot.
posted by robself at 9:10 AM on April 15, 2011


avalanche of snogging

Isn't that an emo band?
posted by jonmc at 9:15 AM on April 15, 2011


I believe that a venue owner should be able to evict any person from his or her premises at any time for any reason, provided that the owner posts, publicly and visibly at the entrance to the venue, a complete list of all legal activities for which a patron may be evicted. If you're a bigoted asshole, I want to know about it before I give you any of my money.

We tried that for a while in the US, with "No Coloreds Allowed" signs. Turns out it wasn't such a great idea after all.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:30 AM on April 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Does "snog" mean kiss? Or make out? Anyway, that word bugs me -- it's like the opposite of what it feels like when you are doing it!
posted by thinkpiece at 9:45 AM on April 15, 2011


It doesn't make it right, but it's how it works.

It's still not right, whether that's "how it works" or not. If it's not right, it's not right. End of story. I don't really like watching PDAs in general, but that's my problem, not theirs.
posted by blucevalo at 9:48 AM on April 15, 2011


I agree with the, "This seems totally stupid" comments. It may seem obvious to some of you, having read a couple news articles about it, that these two guys were treated differently because they were gay, but it doesn't seem obvious to me. They were kissing, they were asked to stop, they failed to stop, and so they were asked to leave. I don't see any factual basis to conclude, "It's because they were GAY!!"

Assuming the two guys are being truthful, they were already gathering belongings to leave when the pub owners finally booted them. That's pretty stupid of the owners: If somebody is leaving, there's no need for a scene. (Restraint—it's how you distinguish good bouncers from "tough guys.") On the other hand, one of the guys said he felt "belittled" and "dirty" and "cheap"...so he called the police?
posted by red clover at 9:52 AM on April 15, 2011


Equality means if someone's being enough of a dick you can threaten to kill them, protected class or not.

How about just don't threaten to kill people? I can't imagine any level of dickish behavior that makes death threats OK.

Does "snog" mean kiss? Or make out? Anyway, that word bugs me -- it's like the opposite of what it feels like when you are doing it!

I think it can cover the spectrum. And it seems a perfectly fine word to me.

Now, you want a word that means the opposite of what you'd expect: before a few weeks ago, I had an entirely wrong idea of what "pulchritude" meant. Look it up, you might be surprised too!

On 'load new comments':
They were kissing, they were asked to stop, they failed to stop, and so they were asked to leave. I don't see any factual basis to conclude, "It's because they were GAY!!"

How many heterosexual couples have you heard of being kicked out of a bar for kissing?
posted by kmz at 9:57 AM on April 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is that The Proclaimers?
posted by w0mbat at 10:01 AM on April 15, 2011


fwiw, I've gotten kicked out of a gay bar in the East Village (nyc) for making out with a girl (I'm a dude).

I was also waaaasted....
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:03 AM on April 15, 2011


fwiw, I've gotten kicked out of a gay bar in the East Village (nyc) for making out with a girl (I'm a dude).

The difference in power dynamics makes this not equivalent to a gay couple being kicked out of a non-gay pub.
posted by acb at 10:07 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It is not clear whether ejecting gay couples for acting too gay is Samuel Smith's policy or if the landlord acted alone.

It's a paradox, essentially. The Landlords Act (2003) says you can eject whomever you like from your pub; the Equality Act (2010) says you need to behave equally. So, essentially, if the landlord kicks out as many kissing straights as gays then they're fine. There was an interview with one of the men involved on 5 Live this morning, around 8.10 or whenever I could be bothered to get out of bed.

My teammate had her stag party there and I believe it involved a strap-on, so I doubt that it was kissing per se that was objectionable. Having known a lesbian couple as a teenager who would only kiss in the pub loos because they didn't want the negative attention being gay would get where we were, it hardly beggars belief that someone might be reactionary to eject two men for kissing. There's still a section of the population that sees two men holding hands or kissing fairly repugnant, whether they want to or not, because they have grown up in an environment telling them that it is. (My tip would be not to get a job in Soho.)

How many heterosexual couples have you heard of being kicked out of a bar for kissing?An ex of mine would never hold my hand if we walked through Manchester's gay village as 'it's disrespectful'. He was a weird one.
posted by mippy at 10:21 AM on April 15, 2011


It reminded me of another recent story on MetaFilter, where content that would have been G-rated with a straight couple was assumed (incorrectly but not incomprehensibly) to be restricted for mature audiences if the couple involved were gay. This seems to be operating in the same area - that it's intrinsically sexier if two men are kissing than if a man and a woman are kissing.

I'm an advertising regulator and we rate all steamy scenes the same, whether gay or straight. Remember the Heinz ad that got pulled, with the 'gay kiss'? Nobody thought viewers would see it as anything but a metaphor - it attracted many many complaints because there are people who see gay kissing as WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN.
posted by mippy at 10:25 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine coined the term "dopplebanger" for those who seem to go after people exactly like themselves. It's not exclusive for same-sex couples, and it makes me think of my straight guy friend Jamie who dated a lady named Jamie for a short while. It didn't last long, and we speculated it was because they were too similar.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM on April 15, 2011 [13 favorites]


I used to amuse myself at the thought of marrying somebody with my exact name. There's about 40 or so hits on Facebook right now, and like Jayne I'm a guy with a girl's name (and mostly straight). It would have been so unbelievably confusing, especially since my name is very unusual in the West and not that common in China either.

But funnily enough, I actually ended up marrying a Jamie.
posted by kmz at 11:14 AM on April 15, 2011


A friend of mine coined the term "dopplebanger" for those who seem to go after people exactly like themselves.

From the Penny Arcade forums, this is also the term for when you discover a porn actor who looks uncomfortably like a significant other.
posted by Errant at 11:36 AM on April 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently the John Snow pub has closed its doors, as if in fear of the impending onslaught of gayness.
It's become clear that the John Snow pub has closed its doors, presumably fearful of the avalanche of snogging that was about to descend upon it. One Twitter user, who works opposite, reports that a TV crew has arrived and is "filming the locked door whilst bar staff peer from upstairs window". The Press Association has managed to get a few words with Thomas Paget, the licence holder of the pub. He again refused to comment on the row. Asked whether the pub had been the victim of a "misunderstanding", he told PA: "I don't have anything to say." *
posted by ericb at 12:02 PM on April 15, 2011


About 300ppl outside John Snow. Huge media presence, plenty of snogging
posted by nadawi at 12:14 PM on April 15, 2011


If they have any sense at all they will apologize unreservedly, welcome them all in, give the free drinks, and encourage anyone to snog anyone they want to.
posted by unSane at 12:59 PM on April 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


From the Penny Arcade forums, this is also the term for when you discover a porn actor who looks uncomfortably like a significant other.
Sort of what must have happened with Stan Van Gundy's wife when she saw a picture of Ron Jeremy?
posted by e1c at 1:27 PM on April 15, 2011


I'm wondering what Norman Balon would have said if two men had started snogging in the saloon bar of the Coach and Horses. Actually I can imagine all too well ..

One Sikh regular remembers encountering Balon for the first time and being asked, ‘You’re not a fackin’ Muslim are you?’ – and on answering, no, being told, ‘All right, you can stay then.’

What is Britain coming to, when Soho pub landlords can't make ignorant, insulting, bigoted remarks without someone taking offence? It's .. it's .. it's political correctness gone mad!
posted by verstegan at 1:53 PM on April 15, 2011


Waiting for the statement from the landlord: "Look, right, I've got nuffing against the gays, right? It's just one-a them was a ginger, and no one wants to see that."
posted by klangklangston at 2:29 PM on April 15, 2011


The John Snow Pub 'Gay Kiss-in" Facebook page.
posted by ericb at 2:37 PM on April 15, 2011


The Guardian: Hundreds attend kiss-in outside John Snow pub after venue closes its doors.
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on April 15, 2011


The tweet that set it all off: 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.

What does W1F mean?
posted by filthy light thief at 3:42 PM on April 15, 2011


It's the first three letters of the postal code, West-One F.
posted by unSane at 3:55 PM on April 15, 2011


This can be a huge win for everyone if the owner posts on his "drinks specials" sign; 1/2 off Drinks for Courteous Snoggers!" and then open the doors.

Let the snog fest begin!
posted by snsranch at 4:38 PM on April 15, 2011


I think we can all agree that one good thing has come of this whole fiasco, and that is the further distribution of the word 'dopplebanger'.
posted by FatherDagon at 4:07 AM on April 16, 2011


My mate Ronnie Golden suggests another possible meaning: the ghostly double of a Cumberland sausage.
posted by unSane at 6:55 AM on April 16, 2011


Gay Kiss-In videos.
posted by ericb at 10:02 AM on April 18, 2011


John Snow shuts again as gay kiss storm lingers on -- "Soho pub closes doors as second group of protesters plan kiss-in over two men's claims they were ejected for smooching."
posted by ericb at 11:50 AM on April 22, 2011


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