Ooh, look, it’s an actual pink pound! You can tell ’cause it’s pink, the Queen looks much younger, instead of Charles Dickens or whoever’s on Brit cash you’ve got St. Sebastian and lezzer poet Sappho and a bit of Brokeback Mountain Cowboy. Oh, and a pansy. And a disco ball…
The reason for said pink pound? Well, it’s to help the gays understand new laws which mean they can never again be turned away from a UK hotel or bar or ante-natal clinic or doctor’s or… You get the picture.
The bottom line is that gays – as in those who bum same sex types for pleasure, or simply fiddle around with their documents – have now been afforded the same rights as those who choose not to do the above, when it comes down to where you want to spend your money. It’s called The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, and it’s a big ole deal. And everybody – big, small, gay, non-gay – ought to be aware of it. ‘Cause, you know, it’s the law.
Imagine the following, if you will:
Two gennelman walk into a hotel. They fancy a weekend away in, ooh, Scarborough (now is not the time to scoff, pop-pickers) and there they are, poised to hand over their hard-earned money in return for a bed for the night. This would be the hard-earned money with our dear Queeny’s head on it, the same hard-earned earth money that les gays pay tax-and-what-have-you on, just like everybody else. Just so we’re clear.
So anyway, our two gay gennelman (let’s call them James and Tom) just want to check they’ve got a nice-size double bed, ’cause James has rather long Lindas and wouldn’t like his feet to get cold of an evening. A game of incy-wincy spider may also come into it at some point but frankly, that’s no-body’s business.
‘It is a double bed, isn’t it,’ Tom says to the receptionist at the hotel (’cause he’s nice like that, always making sure James’s well looked after).
‘Er, I’m sorry,’ says the receptionist. ‘We don’t actually do that here. We don’t allow two men to share a double bed. You can have twin beds or I can recommend another hotel if you like…’
‘Erm, not sure if you know about these new laws…’
(Others may like to throw an inanimate object in said receptionist’s face at this juncture, accompanied by screams of ‘cunt’, but that would a. Not be necessary any more and b. Just bring you down to their level. We digress.)
There are a gazillion and one scenarios we could give you – wanting to book a venue for a Civil Partnership ceremony (‘Sorry, we thought it was a wedding reception – we don’t do that sort of thing, here’) let’s say; or holding hands with your same-sex boyf/girlf in a restaurant (‘I’m sorry, we don’t allow that sort of behaviour in here!’) – but the crux of it all is that if a service or product is offered, and someone has the money to pay for it, then that’s that. Couldn’t give a flying toss whether the person paying’s gay, lezzer, or Tom Cruise – discrimination est illegal.
For more information, look out for The Colour of Your Money booklets (these pics above are from it. Pretty, no?) that have been produced in conjunction with those lovely Stonewall people, and are being distributed in bars/clubs/libraries across the breadth of Her Majesty’s kingdom.