Lesbian couple claims they were booted from bar for kissing
Published Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:43PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 4, 2013 8:40AM EST
A young lesbian couple claims they were victims of discrimination at a West Island bar.
Carolyn Shaughnessy and Jess Goldberg say the manager at Brasserie Le Manoir in Pointe-Claire kicked them out because they kissed, but the owner of the bar says they were doing more than simply kissing.
Shaughnessy and Goldberg, who have been together for two years, visited the bar on Friday night in what started off as a laidback night at the bar, but turned into a night that left them both angry and humiliated.
“Actually, we go to Manoir quite frequently,” said Shaughnessy. “It was just out for drinks with our friends, casually having a good time.”
They say they were reprimanded by the manager for showing each other affection.
“(Jess) came behind me, and she held me from behind. She maybe kissed me on the cheek and on the neck. Frankly, I'm not 100 per cent sure, because the actions are such minute, natural means of affection that it's not something I would track in my brain,” said the 23-year-old.
“(The manager) said that we were being promiscuous, and that we needed to calm down. He was like, ‘If you continue this behaviour, you guys are gonna have to leave.’" She said.
After he saw them kiss again later in the night, the manager came a second time and ordered them to leave, having them escorted out by security.
“We weren't doing anything wrong. It's not like we were drunk and making out with friends, disturbing people. I was really taken aback by everything,” said Goldberg.
The bar’s owner Peter Sergakis said the women shared more than a couple of an innocent kisses, however.
“That's not the story here. We have it on camera. The camera, fortunately, was right on them,” he said, adding that he does not tolerate discrimination and owns, among other establishments, gay bar Sky Pub.
Still, Sergakis has apologized for the incident, saying the manager may have acted too quickly, and that he would have handled the situation differently.
“I blame him because he could have been a little bit more patient about it… so we wouldn't have this situation now,” he said.
Sergakis said the situation has been blown out of proportion.
“We excused ourselves, it should be finished. This is too much. It's getting out of hand,” he said.
But for Shaughnessy and Goldberg, the apology doesn't sound sincere, and they say won't be going back to Le Manoir.