What Sainsbury's Did To This Gay Couple Is Outrageous

Illustration by Mary Galloway.
Most of us wouldn't think twice before holding our partner's hand at the supermarket. A loving PDA in the confectionary aisle is sometimes just what you need after a long, hard day at work.

Well one couple have been reprimanded for doing just that.

On Monday evening, while Thomas Rees and Joshua Bradwell were buying food in a Sainsbury's store in Hackney, London, a woman complained about their behaviour to a security guard.

After they had paid, a security guard called them outside to tell them about the complaint that they had acted "inappropriately", the BBC reported.

The couple have since expressed their shock and anger over the incident. "It's really knocked me for six and I've spent the last day or so analysing how I'm perceived," Rees told the BBC.

The couple merely held hands and Rees said he may have even – gasp! – put his arm around Bradwell's waist, the BBC reported.
Talking to the BBC, Rees said the couple "weren't all over each other" or "in the throes of passion".

"It was essentially just holding my boyfriend's hand as I do every day. I'm very much in love and that's how I express my love," he said.

"All it's done is strengthen the importance that if you love someone, irrelevant of their gender, that is love and you should express that love in whatever way you desire or wish to."

After tweeting about the humiliating incident, Sainsbury's offered Rees a £10 off voucher. A token gesture that would barely cover the cost of a nice dinner and wine for two.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said: "We sincerely apologise to Thomas and Josh. We are an inclusive retailer and employer and do not tolerate discrimination in our stores.

"We will take appropriate action once we've concluded our investigation with our security contractor."

However, this isn't the first time customers have taken offence to gay people showing affection to each other in Sainsbury's.

In 2014, a young lesbian couple were threatened with ejection from a Brighton store after a customer complained that a kiss they shared was "disgusting". Students then held a mass "kiss-in" in protest at how the women were treated.

Since the incident, Rees said he'd like to know how the supermarket trains staff to deal with diversity. And maybe shoppers should get used to the fact that, in 2016, homophobia has no place in public.

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