A gay bar in Denmark has caused an uproar by banning heterosexual couples from kissing while visiting the premises.
Gay news service Pink News reports that the Never Mind bar, on the Norre Voldgade in Copenhagen, has confirmed that it does not allow heterosexual displays of public affection, and will ask offending ‘straights’ to leave the bar if they pucker up.
The owner of the bar, Christian Carlsen, said the ruling was not aimed at discriminating against straight people – but protecting the gay clients.
He told Pink News: ‘Problems often arise when the girls, late at night, call their straight male friends and think it’s a good idea that they come by and join the party.
‘They are often quite intoxicated, and most straight guys unfortunately have it a bit difficult with gay men. This often results in a serious situation which our security people than have to handle.’
The bar and its policy hit the headlines after bouncers told a party of guests to leave after a woman kissed her boyfriend.
Security staff told the offending woman, Mathilde Karlsen Hansen, that she was not allowed to kiss a man while visiting the bar.
Among the party was Jobbe Joller, the founder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organisation Homosocialt Fællesskab.
Mr Joller asked the bouncer whether it was the bar’s policy to eject straight customers, suggesting it was tantamount to throwing out customers because of the colour of their skin.
The bouncer allegedly replied that ‘the owner of Never Mind may decide who can kiss and who can’t kiss in the bar’.
Mr Joller said: ‘At first I thought it was a joke. I told him in a very serious tone that what they had going on was sick, and that LGBT people across Denmark struggled for acceptance and equal rights for all, while Never Mind fought against it.’
But Mr Carlsen stood by his policy, saying Copenhagen was rich with heterosexual bars for straight people to frequent, while the city’s homosexuals had a more restricted choice.
‘The [gay] community demands that we have the same rights as anyone else living in this country, and here I find it problematic that we exclude the very same people… who we demand recognize our presence and give us equal rights’
He said: ‘It is quite clear that gay bars in Copenhagen attract many straight people and that in itself is also okay, but when you come with three, four, or five straight friends you no longer fit into a gay bar.’
After leaving the bar, Mr Joller contacted Mr Carlsen to explain his ruling.
Mr Carlsen wrote: ‘It is important to the gay community that Never Mind is kept as a gay place. So it is therefore not allowed for heterosexuals to kiss and so on.’
Mr Joller responded with: ‘The LGBT community demands that we have the same rights as anyone else living in this country, and here I find it problematic that we exclude the very same people from our great and diverse community who we demand recognise our presence and give us equal rights.’
As far as Mathilde Karlsen Hansen is concerned, she has probably already forgotten about it.