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London's Thistle City Barbican Hotel Denies Gay Couple A Double Room

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A gay British couple claims a London hotel denied them a pre-booked double room because of their sexuality.

As the BBC reports, the pair claims the receptionist at the Thistle City Barbican hotel in central London offered them a family room instead, repeatedly asking them, "Are you sure you don't want single beds?"

“I believe I’ve been treated in a homophobic way,” Nick Hurley, 22, who had planned to stay at the hotel with his boyfriend, 28-year-old Gavin Maclean, is quoted by Metro as saying.

A representative from Thistle Hotels has responded to the claims, telling media outlets that the lodging company does not tolerate anti-gay behavior.

“We’re sorry to hear this," the hotel chain spokesman is quoted by the International Business Times as saying, adding that there were no double rooms available during the time of Hurley and Maclean's planned stay. "We take matters like this very seriously."

Hurley said that while rooms may not have been available for the pair at the time, it was the way the hotel staff treated him and his boyfriend at the time that makes him upset.

“He had obviously seen it was two guys … He insisted on repeating that question,” Hurley said. “I felt it was a way of him imposing his own stamp on the situation. I got a barbed vibe.”

Upset and frustrated by the experience, Hurley later tweeted:

Nick Hurley
Homophobic receptionist at refused me & my bf our pre-booked double room. Insisted we take a "family" room w/ separate beds.

He then added:

Nick Hurley
As a society, we have a responsibility to treat everyone equally. Tolerance is important.

On the other side of the globe, a Beverly Hills, California hotel has been boycotted by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates for the owner’s ties to what they describe as “state-sponsored homophobia." On Feb. 13, the "Dump The Beverly Hills Hotel" group released a quirky video where people announced a “breakup” with the prestigious hotel.

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