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.