A gay couple who held hands in British supermarket Sainsbury’s were told they were ‘touching inappropriately’ by a security guard and they were forced to leave.
Thomas Rees, and partner Josh, finished shopping at the Hackney Road store in London when a guard came up and said someone had made a complaint about how they were acting.
They were holding hands, as normal, and felt like they were not doing anything strange or odd.
But then a security guard called them over ‘with a finger’ and asked them to follow him outside. Thinking it was strange, Rees checked himself over wondering whether he had put something in his pocket by mistake.
‘When we got outside I was ready to apologise and then he said a customer had complained about our behavior,’ he told ITV.
‘My blood boiled. I was shaking and dumbfounded and unable to respond. He kept repeating the customer felt our behaviour was inappropriate.’
Following the incident, a Sainsbury’s customer service operative offered the couple a single £10 gift card.
Many reacted angrily to this, with some calling it ‘insulting’ if that is a price to pay for being a victim of bigotry.
‘I wanted an apology, not messages on Twitter,’ Rees said. ‘It’s not about the money.’
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said the company was taking full responsibility for the incident.
‘It was a huge mistake on our part,’ they told Gay Star News. ‘We are very sorry for what happened as we do not tolerate discrimination in our stores. We will take the appropriate action once we’ve concluded our investigation’.
On the paltry offer of a £10 giftcard, the Sainsbury’s spokesperson added the couple had ‘accepted’ the gift card as an apology and would continue to speak with the customer to rectify the complaint.