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Dorset pub barred gay man for 'flirting with the barman'

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 22, 2014

Phil Poolman, who claims he has been barred from the Museum pub at Farnham, Dorset, for flirting with the barman. Picture: Clare Green

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A man claims he was barred from his local pub after his attempts to chat up a young barman were deemed as harassment.

Philip Poolman, a 48-year-old gay man, is claiming that bosses at the Museum Inn at Farnham, near Blandford in Dorset, have discriminated against him because he is gay.

But the pub responded, saying Mr Poolman's behaviour was out of order, he had left the young barman distressed and the decision to bar him had nothing to do with the fact he is gay.

Mr Poolman claimed he was taken aside by a manageress and informed he was no longer welcome at the country pub because his behaviour was that of "a predatory gay man".

The 48-year-old from Sixpenny Handley, near Salisbury, said he was shocked by the pub's actions, especially as he spends £200 a week in the bar.

"I told the young barman I thought he was cute and he took offence at this and then left his job at the end of the session," said Mr Poolman.

"I have been told that I lost the guy his job. I was told I am a predatory gay man and that the barman was too frightened to leave the place as it was dark and he was afraid that I was going to jump on him. I might be gay but I am not a rapist," he said.

"I think I have been victimised for being gay and in this day and age, I thought all that was over.

"When I was younger I had prejudice against me and I took it on the chin, but now we gay people can get married," he added.

"I have no remorse and don't see why I should have. During each week I used to spend around £200 in the place. That's their loss. I feel so ashamed that in this day and age I feel like I have been victimised," he said.

It is understood that Mr Poolman's drunken behaviour was deemed to be harassment of the member of staff at the pub, and was bad enough to warrant being banned from the premises.

One source at the pub said: "The barman said it went further than normal flirting. This has absolutely nothing to do with his sexuality."

The pub is owned by pub chain Cirrus Inns, and a spokesman for the Museum said this week: "He has been banned until further investigation, because his comments left a member of staff distressed.

"The well-being of our staff, as well as the needs of the business, is our utmost priority," she added.

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  • StanStill  |  March 22 2014, 3:29PM

    Sounds like the Gay man is trying to make more out of this incident than there really was. He must be n idiot spending £200 a week in any pub.

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  • BristolPete30  |  March 22 2014, 11:15AM

    Just a thought - would this story have even been printed if a straight man was barred from a pub for harassing a female barman? Would "customer banned for harassing female bar staff" make any headline? There would be no question, can you imagine the Press running the headline, "Twenty year old man barred from central Bristol pub for harassing female bar staff"? The guy might (and probably would) say that "I meant nothing by it" that "the barman was being over sensitive", and "the manager picked on me cos he didn't like me" but if the barman felt harassed that wouldn't that be enough for us. The story wouldn't make it near the "page". Surely, we believe that people have the right to work behind a bar (or in a hospital, or shop) without feeling intimidated or harassed by customers; and if we believe in sexual and gender equality that must apply to both men and women, and we must err on the side of the victim. If our treatment (and reporting) of the harassment of men and women is different, then it is surely of itself discriminatory and our motives behind, and the results of, doing so need to be thought about very carefully.

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