Lesbian couple allegedly arrested over same-sex kiss sue casino

The front of a Crown casino in Australia.

A lesbian couple are planning to sue an Australian casino chain after they were allegedly thrown out and arrested for kissing.

59-year-old Sharon Cosgrove was with her partner in the Crown casino bar’s Victoria location when she claims security guards targeted the pair over some “light kissing.”

In a Supreme Court complaint filed in December, she alleges that, after kissing her same-sex partner, she was forcibly held down, handcuffed, and arrested during the date in 2019.

The couple were initially asked to leave by security guards after they claimed that they were ‘intoxicated’, which the legal complaint asserted was false.

“[The order to leave] was in truth made on the basis of sexual discrimination against two lesbians who were engaging in light kissing and touching,” the court papers further claim.

Soon after, Cosgrave alleged that security “continued to harass” the pair before they were “totally restrained” with “excessive force” and allegedly taken into custody.

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Crown confirmed to the Herald Sun that it would be “defending this matter.”

Lesbian couple told to ‘sit down and shut up’

While in custody, the complaint claims that the couple were initially set for release by the bail sergeant, but were allegedly sent back after Cosgrave complained about her treatment.

“As a result of the complaint, the bail sergeant determined that [Cosgrove] would no longer be released from the Custody Centre,” the complaint continued. “He ordered that she be returned to a cell.”

She was then allegedly told by officers working for G4S, a security company also named in the complaint, to “sit down and shut up.”

The lawsuit seeks damages from both Crown and the State of Victoria due to the couple’s alleged treatment by Victoria Police officers.

It is also seeking damages from multiple claimed injuries including a fractured foot, which Cosgrove alleges was crushed by the prison cell door, bruised shoulders, arms, and wrists, as well as mental anguish including humiliation and embarrassment.

“No one deserves to be profiled, harassed and assaulted in public on account of their sexual orientation,” public liability attorney, Oliver Robertson, said in a statement.

“We’re alleging the prejudicial and harmful treatment my client was subject to has caused irreparable physical and psychological damage.

“These events understandably diminished her trust in the authorities who purport to keep the community safe. This never should have happened.”

In statements to the Herald Sun, Crown, Victoria Police, and G4S said it would be inappropriate to comment on the matter.