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Upscale restaurants, bars in Mumbai, Delhi turning away gay couples: report

Upscale restaurants, bars in Mumbai, Delhi turning away gay couples: report
LGBT rights activists said women’s safety shouldn’t be used to discriminate against gay couples (Photo: AFP)

Mumbai: LGBT rights activists in India are tirelessly working towards getting homosexuality decriminalised by the judiciary but raising acceptance among society and ending discrimination against same sex couples in the public sphere still remains an uphill task, as the attitude of many reputed eateries and bars seems to confirm.

Upscale joints in Mumbai like Shiro, Bar Stock Exchange and establishments like Summer House Café and Rasta in Delhi have been turning away gay couples for New Year’s weekend, and are categorically stating that they only allow heterosexual couples.

While the staff at Shiro simply cites a directive by the management to only allow ‘husband wife type couples’, Bar Stock Exchange also threw in some advice saying gay couples should try special gay parties instead.

Rasta in Delhi’s Hauz Khas stated that they only allow men when they are accompanied by women or in a group with women, and another joint mentioned that they had a policy of only allowing heterosexual couples to prevent stags from entering for preventing instances of hooliganism.

An LGBTQ rights activist said that while there are parties for the LGBTQ communities, why can’t they party with others? And another member of the community stated that although they did see women’s security as a grave concern, restaurants cannot use it as an excuse to discriminate against gay couples.

While section 377 primarily affects the LGBTQ community by criminalising any kind of ‘unnatural’ sexual intercourse, it doesn’t state anything about same sex couples in public spaces.