Two single gay men who have formed a Covid-19 bubble have accused staff at a Wetherspoon pub of homophobia after they were asked to provide proof that they lived together.
The men said they felt they were given the “third degree” by staff at the Green Ginger pub in Torquay and felt like second class citizens. They claim that mixed sex couples were not asked for the same private information and left to eat at Revolutions bar downstairs.
They have since made a complaint to Devon and Cornwall Police.
The men in their 50s from Torquay asked not to be named. One said: “I feel that the management were thoughtless in discriminating against us and had no clue as to what would constitute proof of cohabiting.
“It made us feel a bit like second class citizens being singled out for the ‘third degree’ for being a male couple.”
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They told DevonLive that they visited the Green Ginger on Friday December 4 at 6.40pm, saying: “We arrived at the door as a couple were just entering. As we approached, a manager stopped us and told us that we needed to prove that we lived together in order to conform with new regulations.
“I said that I did not carry such information and the door person agreed that he did not know how anybody could provide proof of that on demand.
“This would indicate that no other customers had been asked that question previously. I gave up and said that I did not have proof and would not carry such information but that we were two single guys in their late fifties living alone and in an exclusive social bubble. I then decided to go elsewhere.
“A bit disgruntled I put the event on my Facebook feed. A friend saw us eating in the Revolution Bar below, through the window and later sent me a message stating that he entered the Green Ginger an hour after me with a friend, this time female and was invited into the premises without question.
“He also suggested that the management, in asking only male couples for proof of living arrangements, were taking a discriminatory and homophobic approach in selecting customers that they would like to frequent their establishment. It is also an encroachment on my privacy to require inspection of my living arrangements.
“This sort of requirement should only be available to a police officer.”
He said they have complained via the Wetherspoon’s website but had not received an apology at the time of writing.
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He added: “I have reported the incident to the police who logged the incident but as it is civil matter, were unable to take the matter any further. They were happy to log it in case of future complaints.”
In a statement given to DevonLive, Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “Wetherspoon is aware of the issues raised by the customers and we will contact them directly to fully understand their concerns.
“It is important to note that Wetherspoon does not operate any entry policies which are discriminatory.”