Monday, June 07, 2010

Punch Taverns apologise to LGBT Labour over #Greencoatboy banning

Well, I guess this is something from Punch Taverns, owners of the Greencoat Boy pub in Westminster where LGBT Labour were refused service on Saturday night in what has to be one of the stupidest and most ignorant blunders by a pub manager ever.

This is the full statement from their website:

"Punch Taverns seeks to provide open and welcoming venues to everyone. We are shocked and saddened that the Labour LGBT did not experience this at The Greencoat Boy last night and apologise unreservedly.

"Across our estate, diversity and inclusion are a core part of our ethics and are clearly referenced in our recruitment process, our equal opportunities policy and training. We would like to stress that this is an isolated incident; we have a good track record on equal opportunities and we do not tolerate homophobia in our pubs, whether from guests to other guests, or involving our employees.

"We are currently conducting a full investigation of the incident and the Deputy General Manager will not be on site until the investigation is concluded. We are co-operating fully with the police and plan to meet with the LGBT Labour Group early next week to discuss how we can work together to further improve our policies and procedures.

In addition, we have this morning contacted all of our general managers and pub teams to remind them of our equal opportunity policy and will seek to work with external partners to further enhance our training to ensure that inclusion remains at the heart of it."

This is a well worded statement, I think, which aims to point out that diversity is at the core of their values and not something they do simply because they are required to by law. It's good that LGBT Labour are going to meet with senior managers next week.

I can't quite get my head round what the manager thought he was doing on Saturday night. I mean, turning away the LGBT Group from a major political party. Did he think they were just going to meekly go away and not tell anybody about it? The story spread across Twitter really quickly and tweeters from every political party and none expressed their anger and disbelief at what had happened.

I suppose this incident shows that, unfortunately, homophobia is alive and well in this country and having experienced it at first hand, I hope that LGBT Labour will reconsider some of the poisonous tweets from Labour members directed at David Laws last weekend. Ben Bradsahaw, in particular, ought to be ashamed of himself for this tweet. Labour did not create a discrimination-free utopia while in office, regardless of what they think, and I'm still angry at the lack of understanding they showed David.

Sure, the man himself has realised that he actually had nothing to worry about, having received nothing but support from the very people he feared would reject him. Having said that, not every story has this sort of happy ending. Just amongst my friends, I know a few people who have had a really hard time with their families and have been terribly hurt as a consequence.

At least in this instance, Punch Taverns have done the right thing. They took more time than they perhaps should but they've taken action. Let's hope that they have a successful meeting with LGBT Labour this week.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails