Gay couple asked to sit apart in a ‘family restaurant’

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Gay couple asked to sit apart in a ‘family restaurant’
2nd December 2014

Lydia Cawson today told London Live of her shock after being asked by a member of staff at Canteen at the Royal Festival Hall to move away from her partner.

The 29-year-old was comforting her partner after a stressful week in which she had moved house. Ms Cawson told Headline London she consoled her partner by putting her arm around her shoulder and a “peck on the lips”.

The pair were then approached by a member of staff who asked them to move away from one another during the incident on Thursday evening, Ms Cawson said.

She told London Live: "I didn't notice any adverse reaction in the restaurant, myself. Then the lady came over to us and said 'can you stop what you're doing please, this is a family restaurant'."

Her partner then challenged the member of staff, asking: "Is it a family restaurant or is it a homophobic restaurant?" according to Ms Cawson.

The staff member denied the claim but gestured for the pair to sit apart from one another, Ms Cawson said.

She added: "The first thing is that we were really shocked by this challenge.

"We didn't feel like we were overly affectionate. Yes, it was an intimate moment, but consoling her and just a simple loving reaction.

"The second comment was that it was a family restaurant and it made me feel; 'why does that matter? Is it because children are present - not that there were any children present at that time - anyway, why should it matter if it is a family restaurant?'"

The pair said they paid their bill but were left feeling "incredibly angry" about the incident. They have since said they felt unsure about whether they could be seen showing affection in public.

A spokesman for the restaurant said a full investigation into the claims has been launched.


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