A Sydney hotel has denied banning a Catholic group from holding its monthly meeting at the pub after patrons complained that gay marriage was being discussed, News.com.au reports.
Monday night’s Theology on Tap meeting at the Rose Hotel in inner-city Chippendale was cancelled after organiser Natalie Ambrose received an email from hotel licensee George Kanellos, Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine reported.
“I’m terribly sorry to inform you that we can no longer let you host your event with us in the beer garden,” the email said. “We’ve experienced some backlash from customers and within these complaints, they have threatened not to return if these events continue.”
In a follow-up email, Mr Kanellos said the decision to cancel the event, held on the first Monday of every month, was taken at a staff meeting the previous day.
“I was told by staff yesterday that worked the previous event that four different groups of people got up and left and, out of two groups, we were told that they might not ever come back,” he wrote.
“It was about the debate of marriage equality that had frustrated these groups and our locals. So for these reasons Natalie we cannot continue to support you guys.”
According to the The Daily Telegraph, the event last month was a talk by Sr Mary Patrice Ahearn about “how to cope with being attacked for your faith”. Among the topics discussed were gay marriage and euthanasia.
Posting on Facebook, the Rose Hotel said it was “saddened” to read negative comments. “We believe that everyone has a right to their own beliefs and strive to create an inclusive environment for the whole Rose community,” it said.
“After receiving feedback from patrons about an event, we contacted the organiser to offer our private function space rather than the public beer garden.
“We felt an event with speakers using a microphone was better run within a private space. The offer was declined and at no point did we ban anyone. We are sorry this has upset so many. It was not our intention."
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