Gabriel Dion says he doesn't believe the Saint-Sulpice bar bouncer was being homophobic, but does believe he was being disrespectful of him and his friend. Radio-Canada
A University of Montreal student is demanding an apology after he and a male friend were tossed out of the Saint-Sulpice bar for kissing during a school orientation event.
Gabriel Dion said he was attending an initiation event for medical students last Friday at a bar in Montreal's Latin Quarter when the incident occurred.
"It’s a big day with a lot of alcohol, and everyone was partying and everyone was finding people [to hook up with]," he said.
"There was a lot of kissing and contact, and stuff like that. And basically, myself, I was with another man, and we didn’t want to disturb anyone, so basically, we just went to a staircase, really a little staircase far away from everything, and we just started kissing. And it was good kissing, I would say. We were just hugging each other and kissing."
He said a bouncer at the bar found them around 11:30 p.m. and told them to follow him, leading them to the front entrance.
Dion said and his friend were "a bit drunk" and confused, and followed the bouncer.
He said the bar employee told him and his friend that they weren't allowed to come back in, and that if they wanted the bags they had left inside they would have to either gets friends to bring them out or to wait until closing time at 3 a.m.
Dion and his friend received no explanation, he said.
Dion said he felt belittled by the bouncer, who he said told him, "You did some wrong stuff, boys."
Dion said he doesn't think the bouncer was being homophobic.
"But I do think he was being a little bit definitely [disrespectful] and definitely [there was] a little bit of ignorance with a lot of prejudice," he said.
No 'horizontal' making out: bar owner
Bar owner Maurice Bourassa said Dion and company were found in a more compromising position than mere kissing.
“We can kiss, no matter the sexual orientation. But once we’ve become horizontal, I believe there we have some limits," he said.
Bourassa said his bouncer told him that he found the pair making out on a fire escape, which is against fire department regulations.
The doorman was simply doing his job, he said.
“There’s no homophobia. We’re very open. The St-Sulpice is a very open and welcoming place," Bourassa said.
Student union protests treatment of Dion
Vincent Fournier Gosselin, an executive member of the University of Montreal federation of student associations (FAECUM), said he was shocked to learn of the situation.
"I didn't think this kind of behaviour could happen in the bars of Montreal," Gosselin told CBC Daybreak host Ainslie MacLellan. "It is the first time we hear of something like that."
Dion and Gosselin are calling on Saint-Sulpice to issue a formal apology and to ensure the bar does not let another situation like this happen again. Dion said he wants the bar owner to publicly say whether members of the gay community are welcome at the bar.
Owner Bourassa said they are, and have always been, welcome to Saint-Sulpice.
A kiss-in protest in front of the bar is being organized for Friday by gay rights group the Pink Bloc.
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