Kissing patrons not booted for being gay, says Montreal bar owner
Published Tuesday, September 2, 2014 8:25AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 2, 2014 3:38PM EDT
The owner of a popular Montreal bar where staff have been accused of homophobia after two men were kicked out for kissing says there's more to the story.
The incident happened at a busy hot spot in Montreal's Latin Quarter, Bar Saint-Sulpice, where medical students from the Universite de Montreal were holding an orientation party Friday night.
Gabriel Dion says everyone in the bar was drunk and several couples were kissing. But he says, while most of the couples were left alone, he was singled out for kissing another man.
"We started making out, and hugging each other and that's it," he told CTV Montreal.
Dion said he and the man moved into a stairway for privacy.
"We definitely know some people are not comfortable with that, especially in a straight bar, so we tried to be as discreet as possible. But then a security guard came in and just told us to leave," he said.
The bouncer wouldn't let him and the other man their get their bags before leaving, so they had to ask friends to bring the bags outside, he said.
"I definitely felt disrespected. I felt that there was a lot of prejudice, basically," he said.
A spokesperson for the federation representing student associations at the University of Montreal, Vincent Fournier Gosselin, says the group was stunned by Dion's experience and wants an apology from the bar.
"We were shocked. I think it's completely, completely inappropriate. It's not an acceptable behaviour, so that was our first reaction," he said.
Several students are now planning a "kiss-in" in front of the bar next Friday to show their anger.
But bar owner Maurice Bourassa told CTV Montreal the two men were kicked out for reasons that had nothing to do with homophobia.
For example, he says, the men were in a staircase that's used as a fire escape and therefore must be kept clear at all times. But he also says the men were conducting themselves inappropriately, with one man lying on top of the other. Their behaviour, he says, was more appropriate for a bedroom than a public place.
Bourassa says a straight couple acting the same way would have been kicked out as well.