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Gay couple denied entry into UK bar: “mixed sex” only

 Patrick Hannon (Paddy) and Jake Archer say they weren't allowed into a bar because they are a gay couple.
Photo credit:
Jake Archer

A bar in the UK is getting some flak for not allowing a same-sex couple to enter, the bouncer saying the venue encourages only “mixed sex” couples.

At least that's what Patrick Hannon (Paddy) and Jake Archer say happened when they tried to enter Jake’s Bar together in Britain's Leeds area which is just around the corner from a popular gay neighborhood.

The couple claims they were left speechless after they weren’t allowed into the pub for no reason other than they were together and they didn't have a woman with them. 

“I was turned away from your bar for not being ‘in a mixed sex couple’ – I was out with my boyfriend,” Mr. Archer wrote on Twitter. “Don’t you think this is discrimination; if I was with a girlfriend this would have been fine as you were only allowing mixed male and female groups in? Seems a strange door policy when you are literally next door to the gay scene…”

The incident caught the attention of the BBC and in an interview for the news service, Mr. Hannon said, “If we were drunk or in a large group then you would understand. They need to think about how it makes them look – as a bar they are not very open minded.”

Jake’s Bar claims that the issue was with an outsourced door staff and they promised to investigate why the couple was not allowed in. Yet, this isn’t the first time the venue has been accused of discrimination.

In several online reviews from TripAdvisor and Google, people have called out Jake’s for not being welcoming to the LGBT community.

According to Pink Newsone review from May 2017 states “I was with my [same-sex] partner and we were refused entry for not being in a mixed couple! The bouncer was extremely rude after I pointed this out and referred to us as puffs!”

Another from 2016 claims the bar did not follow-up on claims that the establishment was homophobic. And in 2015, yet another review claims those manning the door followed a “no men, groups or homosexuals – any of which would ruin the bland atmosphere” policy.

In a response to one critical review Jake’s responded:

“We absolutely do not have a ‘policy’ on our door, all decisions our Doormen make are based on the situation in the bar at the time.

“For example, we try to keep an even split of genders within the bar, so if it was male-heavy at the time you were trying to get in, then this would affect your entry.”

Jake's manager Paul Lane conveyed some of those same sentiments to the BBC over Mr. Hannon's and Mr. Archer's recent accusation.

He said, the bar would never discriminate against anyone, and adds it has a “strict equality and diversity policy.”

“We have many customers who identify with LGBTQIA+ communities who frequent the bar regularly.”

The Equality Act of 2010 provides protection from discrimination for UK consumers when using public services and as a member or guest of a private club or association.

Leeds City Council said it is "seeking assurances from the owners of these premises that their door policy is reflective of national equality legislation".