The owner of Proud Camden, a London-area bar, canceled an international car company’s Christmas party over an anti-gay email.
Proud Camden owner Alex Proud isn’t naming the company involved, but said a representative sent him an email on Dec. 4 about its upcoming Christmas party. The company asked whether Proud Camden was a gay bar, saying it had heard rumors from some of its employees.
“We need to know as it’s against some people[’s] religion so we will need to make them aware,” the email read.
Proud was shocked that “this still happens.” He sent his response back to the company a couple hours later. While he told them that he doesn’t own a gay bar, “we are pretty gay and a lot of gay stuff happens here.” He then promptly canceled their reservation.
He’s received plenty of support for his decision and reiterated to naysayers that although he supported religious customers coming to his bar, he wouldn’t tolerate “homophobic idiots.” He stands to lose “several thousand pounds” for canceling the Christmas party unless he can find a replacement to book the venue that night, and he doesn’t regret his decision.
@AlexanderProud So much love for you over this. Businesses have values, not an universal service obligation.
— Matthew Plummer (@mwyp) December 5, 2014
We love the recent @alexanderproud and @ProudCamden timelines. Funny, meaningful way to run a business. Well done.
— Troy Keiper (@THEREISNOSIN) December 6, 2014
“I was shocked that a lot of people said they didn’t see what was wrong with their question,” Proud told BuzzFeed News. “I think some people think homophobia is a thing of the past—there were a lot of people out there who think it’s a fair question. A lot of people think you can justify homophobia using religion.”
He’s still refusing to name the company behind the email and hopes that its employees change their attitude instead.