After being asked to leave the John Snow, I was shaking with rage Jonathan Williams

18th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Should two men kissing still be a problem in the UK, in London, today? We should be free to kiss anywhere we chooseYou go on a date. Pizza leads to crpe, which leads to a nice pub you go to regularly. It's all going so well a second date is agreed before dinner is over.This was my experience upon first meeting James Bull last Wednesday. Enjoying each other's company in the John Snow pub in London's Soho, we kissed. However, someone claiming to be the landlord asked us to stop and after polite words were exchanged, we went back to talking.The rest of the evening went well, until we were asked to leave by the landlady; she said our kissing was bothering other customers. We eventually left the pub, after being advised by a plainclothes police officer that it was within the landlady's rights to ask us to do so. I was shaking with rage.I understand that people have different levels of tolerance to public displays of affection. I myself do not enjoy seeing two people lip-locked for hours, in a highly sexual manner, because I think that some things are best enjoyed as a twosome.But I do not see what we were doing as anywhere close to that, so while it is a shame that our kisses were beyond some people's tolerances, I think that certain levels of affection have to be accepted in pubs during the evening.I also do not think we would have been asked to leave if we were a straight couple it would be foolish for the pub not to welcome couples enjoying a date, especially in an area with so many romantic restaurants.Should two men kissing still be a problem in the UK, in London, today? We have openly gay politicians where their sexuality is a non-issue, we have television storylines featuring both women and men in happy, stable relationships with same sex partners. Walking around most major cities, you come across more than a few well-adjusted gay couples.I have been asked if it wouldn't have been more appropriate for us to visit a gay bar, but why should we limit ourselves to places that openly state their acceptance? Why should we not be allowed to kiss, as long as it is not indecent, anywhere we choose?I'm not frequently out in Soho's gay bars. I simply choose the places I know and am comfortable with.It is important, as we move away from decades of backward laws that outline the differences between gay couples and straight, that we embrace being gay as just something ordinary, mainstream. It's only kissing.LondonGay rightsEqualityBritish identity and © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions More Feeds

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