Gay man ‘absolutely distraught’ after Northern Quarter’s Bluu bar kick out couple for kissing

Exclusive by Glen Keogh

A gay reveller allegedly kicked out of a Manchester city centre bar for kissing another man has today spoken of the ‘absolutely disgusting’ treatment he received at the hands of bouncers – while the bar refutes that sexuality had anything to do with it.

Mark Elliott was on a date at Bluu in the Northern Quarter on Sunday March 3 when he says bouncers ejected the two men for being ‘intimate’, with the words ‘not in here, lads’.

An argument ensued between the pair and the doormen, culminating in Mark and his date being grabbed and thrown out.

After the incident, Mark wrote an open letter which was published on the Canal Street website, detailing his shock at the incident.

Now, talking exclusively to MM, he has shed further light on the moments surrounding his ejection from the club.

He said: “I was absolutely distraught.

“I’ve never received treatment like that before and have not received an apology.

“We were sat with some females who were behaving very boisterously and a female couple who were behaving in exactly the same way as my date and I.

“The doorman came over and asked the girls to calm down but then he saw us having a hug and a kiss and asked us to leave.

“The girls across from us were being exactly the same and nothing was said to them.”

Bar manager Mark, 34, has sent an official request asking for CCTV footage of the evening to back up his claims, however Bluu haven’t replied.

But they have issued a statement which says that one of the duty managers at the bar asked the couple to ‘refrain from over amorous behaviour’.

It notes how the pair didn’t ‘refrain from the indulgence’ and this is where the disagreement arose.

“This behaviour is commonplace now. We were in other bars that evening and nobody said anything. We only kissed a couple of times like any other couple would,” Mark added.

“The Northern Quarter prides itself on accepting all sexualities and different types of people and everywhere should be the same.”

Since publicising the incident, Mark has received messages of support from members of Manchester’s gay community, who have challenged the bar on social media.

Bluu released a statement on Facebook concerning what happened, however it has now been deleted.

A tweet from the bar in response to people asking about its door policy, says: “Thanks for your queries, we reiterate that at Bluu bar we are happy to welcome all customers and do not judge based on sexuality.”

A Canal spokesman spoke of his shock on hearing of the incident which prompted the website to publish Mark’s open letter in full.

He said: “Homophobia in all guises is unacceptable in this day and age in Manchester.

“Clearly every bar has the right to kick someone out for acting inappropriately regardless of sexuality, however we published the open letter because we felt it was an issue that needed addressing.

“Mark was insistent he had only acted as other couples would but of course we can’t be certain without CCTV. If he was only acting as any other couple would, why was he kicked out? And would a straight person have been kicked out?”

However Bluu refute allegations that Mark and his date were kicked out because of their sexuality.

Their statement says: “We do exercise a policy of appropriate behaviour which covers all of our customers irrelevant of their sexual preference.

“It is the manager’s obligation under the terms of the bar’s license to ensure a safe environment for all its customers and this includes ensuring that disagreements are handled as discretely and safely as possible.

“The bar manager reserves the right to ask people to leave if the behaviour impacts the enjoyment of others.”

Picture courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.

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