Gay man wins constructive dismissal case against ‘London’s oldest gay pub’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A gay man who accused London’s oldest gay pub of discrimination has also won his case for constructive dismissal.

Charles Lisboa, 41, joined the Coleherne Arms in Earls Court as assistant manager shortly before it re-opened as the Pembroke Arms in December 2008.

The pub, regarded as London’s first gay drinking establishment, was acquired by Realpubs in 2008 and is now a gastropub.

Mr Lisboa said managers had tried to “de-gay” the pub, asked him to tell a gay couple to stop kissing and also put a side outside saying it was not a gay pub any more.

He also claimed that he was told by Realpubs director Malcolm Heaps that he was “another kind of gay”.

He was awarded thousands of pounds in compensation by a tribunal last February, although the panel did not uphold his claim of constructive dismissal.

However, he appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and won his case this week.

The judgment stated that “a policy of embracing diversity and welcoming inclusiveness is laudable; discriminating against gay customers and staff on grounds of their sexual orientation is not”, and added that it was “plainly and unarguably the case that gay customers were treated less favourably on the grounds of their sexual orientation” by Realpubs.

Mr Lisboa, who was represented by Russell Jones & Walker, said: “No one should have to put up with repeated abuse and prejudice in the workplace. That is why I brought my case.”

His compensation will be calculated at another tribunal.