POINTE-CLAIRE – Carolyn Shaughnessy was having dinner with her girlfriend last Friday at Le Manoir in Pointe-Claire when she was told to leave by the manager.
“I was on the phone in the corner and [my girlfriend] came up behind me, and she hugged me and kissed me on the cheek, and he approached us,” she recalled.
Shocked, Shaughnessy said they were forced to pick up their things and follow security out the door.
“He just kept saying that what we were doing was inappropriate,” added girlfriend Jessica Goldberg.
“It was promiscuous and, I don’t know, I was just very taken aback.”
After the incident, Shaughnessy took to Facebook, writing “THEY KICKED US OUT FOR BEING GAY. Safe to say that I won’t ever be returning there again. I’m disgusted.”
The post has been shared over 100 times and has garnered support from some local LGBT groups.
“PDA between same sex couples is still a trigger element for a lot of people’s inner homophobia,” said David Platt, President of Gris-Montreal.
“They’re not used to seeing two people displaying affection who are of the same sex.”
Now, the restaurant’s owner Peter Segakis is taking responsibility for his manager’s actions.
He’s reaching out to the girls to apologize on behalf of his manager.
“If he would have called me and told me that two girls were kissing, I’d tell him that’s normal today and I would tell him not to throw them out,” said Segakis.
Robert Leckey, a law professor at McGill University says the situation was mishandled.
“Everyone in a relationship has the right to be seen, to have their affection publicly displayed,” he said.
“The assumption that a certain kind of relationship is obscure, unseemly or against public morality is really out of line.”
Shaughnessy says despite the overwhelming support from friends and family, she still hasn’t been able to get over this homophobic incident.
“I was confused,” she said. “In our minds, I didn’t see anything wrong with it.”
She says she won’t be going back to Le Manoir anytime soon.
© Shaw Media, 2013