Owner of Sapphire beauty salon in High Road Woodford Green denies allegations of homophobia

A beauty salon owner has denied accusations of homophobia.

Paul Creane and Jhon Jairo Yepes Giraldo say staff at the Sapphire salon in High Road in Woodford Green refused to treat them together because they are a gay couple.

But Shanila Ghani, who owns Sapphire, says they are lying and she claims that staff called the police because they felt threatened when Mr Creane visited the salon to complain.

She said: “These allegations of homophobia are completely fake.

“Nobody ever said that we don’t treat homosexuals. Why would any of us say that?

“I have a lot of gay friends and we treat anyone no matter if they are gay or straight.

“The only thing is if a new male client asks for a massage we always say you can only do it if you are accompanied by a female.

“That is because we have had some very bad experiences previously and for the safety of our staff – who are all female – we don’t allow new male clients in unless they are with a woman.”

Mr Creane says he reported the salon to the police for homophobia last night, but Mrs Ghani says her staff have already reported him.

She said: “I think he was trying to make trouble from the very beginning.

“They were so scared by his behaviour they called the police.”

Comments (15)

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9:32am Wed 30 Jan 13

NorthEast17 says...

It's hard to discern from the reports whether this situation occured because of a misunderstanding or whether there was homophobic behaviour and the counter accusations are intended to distract from this. A hard job for the police but important that we hear about stories like this I think.
It's hard to discern from the reports whether this situation occured because of a misunderstanding or whether there was homophobic behaviour and the counter accusations are intended to distract from this. A hard job for the police but important that we hear about stories like this I think. NorthEast17
  • Score: 0

10:51am Wed 30 Jan 13

Cornbeefur says...

NorthEast17 wrote:
It's hard to discern from the reports whether this situation occured because of a misunderstanding or whether there was homophobic behaviour and the counter accusations are intended to distract from this. A hard job for the police but important that we hear about stories like this I think.
All of which can easily be sorted over a cup of tea to thrash out what actually occurred.

There are two sides to every story.
[quote][p][bold]NorthEast17[/bold] wrote: It's hard to discern from the reports whether this situation occured because of a misunderstanding or whether there was homophobic behaviour and the counter accusations are intended to distract from this. A hard job for the police but important that we hear about stories like this I think.[/p][/quote]All of which can easily be sorted over a cup of tea to thrash out what actually occurred. There are two sides to every story. Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Wed 30 Jan 13

NorthEast17 says...

Oh I'm not sure that matters of law and discrimination should be 'sorted out over a cup of tea'. I would rather leave it to the police to determine whether a law has been broken.

Gay people do not have to beg for tolerance and fairness or go on a personal mission to educate the community. They are protected, by law, to the equal provision of goods and services. I am sure the police will be able to determine whether or not there is any evidence of the law being broken.
Oh I'm not sure that matters of law and discrimination should be 'sorted out over a cup of tea'. I would rather leave it to the police to determine whether a law has been broken. Gay people do not have to beg for tolerance and fairness or go on a personal mission to educate the community. They are protected, by law, to the equal provision of goods and services. I am sure the police will be able to determine whether or not there is any evidence of the law being broken. NorthEast17
  • Score: 0

12:42pm Wed 30 Jan 13

ClifftonX says...

Shop owner - say you are a muslim and therefore cannot allow men in when women are present. The rozzers will then leave you alone (and you may get a grant from the council as a bonus).
Shop owner - say you are a muslim and therefore cannot allow men in when women are present. The rozzers will then leave you alone (and you may get a grant from the council as a bonus). ClifftonX
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Wed 30 Jan 13

mdj says...

'They are protected, by law, to the equal provision of goods and services..'

Isn't that what the shop was offering? Only one man in a cubicle at a time seems to be their general rule.
'They are protected, by law, to the equal provision of goods and services..' Isn't that what the shop was offering? Only one man in a cubicle at a time seems to be their general rule. mdj
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Wed 30 Jan 13

NorthEast17 says...

mdj,

I think you are probably right which I guess would mean that the law has not been broken. It's an interesting dilemma for a business like this and I think it will be interesting to see how it is handled.
mdj, I think you are probably right which I guess would mean that the law has not been broken. It's an interesting dilemma for a business like this and I think it will be interesting to see how it is handled. NorthEast17
  • Score: 0

4:12pm Wed 30 Jan 13

ruby newbie says...

well i think that you are both too beautiful to even need to go to a salon.....maybe you should come further out in essex where we are less rigid......
well i think that you are both too beautiful to even need to go to a salon.....maybe you should come further out in essex where we are less rigid...... ruby newbie
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Wed 30 Jan 13

Brisbane says...

Sounds as if the owners are not just homophobic but sexist as well, judging all men on the basis of the actions of a tiny minority.

It's obvious that gay men, and indeed single men, are less likely to have a female on hand to accompany them.
Sounds as if the owners are not just homophobic but sexist as well, judging all men on the basis of the actions of a tiny minority. It's obvious that gay men, and indeed single men, are less likely to have a female on hand to accompany them. Brisbane
  • Score: 0

9:43am Thu 31 Jan 13

AndyBSG says...

Also, forgive me if i'm wrong, but saying we will allow a male and female in but not a male and male, even the allegations of homophobia aside, this is sexual discrimination which is also illegal in this country is it not?

Applying different rules based entirely on gender is sexual discrimination.
Also, forgive me if i'm wrong, but saying we will allow a male and female in but not a male and male, even the allegations of homophobia aside, this is sexual discrimination which is also illegal in this country is it not? Applying different rules based entirely on gender is sexual discrimination. AndyBSG
  • Score: 0

10:46am Thu 31 Jan 13

andychurchill says...

Yeah! and while we're at it, shops that limit two unaccompanied school chidlren in at any one time! Surely that's illegal! ;)

But in all seriousness, if the business has a (pre-existing) rule due to safety of their staff, then this would explain why a man and his wife would be acceptable, but a man and his civil partner isn't.

However, I am a bit doubtful as to whether this rule even existed prior to this incident, as I'm surprised a straight man would ever even attend a beauty salon on his own let alone with a male friend. At least if he's going with his wife he has an excuse.

But, surely, in the event that this rule did exist, and at the discretion of the company, they would surely realise that 2 gay men are obviously not likely to pose a sexual threat compared to 2 straight men. If it was my business, and I had the rule they claim to have, I would have waived it.

But I bet straight men would then claim they are being discriminated against.
Yeah! and while we're at it, shops that limit two unaccompanied school chidlren in at any one time! Surely that's illegal! ;) But in all seriousness, if the business has a (pre-existing) rule due to safety of their staff, then this would explain why a man and his wife would be acceptable, but a man and his civil partner isn't. However, I am a bit doubtful as to whether this rule even existed prior to this incident, as I'm surprised a straight man would ever even attend a beauty salon on his own let alone with a male friend. At least if he's going with his wife he has an excuse. But, surely, in the event that this rule did exist, and at the discretion of the company, they would surely realise that 2 gay men are obviously not likely to pose a sexual threat compared to 2 straight men. If it was my business, and I had the rule they claim to have, I would have waived it. But I bet straight men would then claim they are being discriminated against. andychurchill
  • Score: 0

11:41am Thu 31 Jan 13

cat-lover says...

CliftonX, your analogy is a complete fabrication.
CliftonX, your analogy is a complete fabrication. cat-lover
  • Score: 0

11:54am Thu 31 Jan 13

AirForceOne says...

Brisbane wrote:
Sounds as if the owners are not just homophobic but sexist as well, judging all men on the basis of the actions of a tiny minority.

It's obvious that gay men, and indeed single men, are less likely to have a female on hand to accompany them.
Dont be ridiculous. Its a well known fact that gay men usually have plenty of female company.
[quote][p][bold]Brisbane[/bold] wrote: Sounds as if the owners are not just homophobic but sexist as well, judging all men on the basis of the actions of a tiny minority. It's obvious that gay men, and indeed single men, are less likely to have a female on hand to accompany them.[/p][/quote]Dont be ridiculous. Its a well known fact that gay men usually have plenty of female company. AirForceOne
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Thu 31 Jan 13

ClifftonX says...

cat-lover wrote:
CliftonX, your analogy is a complete fabrication.
how so?

1) analogy - similarity between two things (e.g. a pump and a heart)

2) fabrication - to make something

How does your jumbled up use of words apply to my statement? Can you deny that the muslim "community" discriminate against women (as well as homosexuals by the way)?
[quote][p][bold]cat-lover[/bold] wrote: CliftonX, your analogy is a complete fabrication.[/p][/quote]how so? 1) analogy - similarity between two things (e.g. a pump and a heart) 2) fabrication - to make something How does your jumbled up use of words apply to my statement? Can you deny that the muslim "community" discriminate against women (as well as homosexuals by the way)? ClifftonX
  • Score: 0

10:51pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Cornbeefur says...

AirForceOne wrote:
Brisbane wrote:
Sounds as if the owners are not just homophobic but sexist as well, judging all men on the basis of the actions of a tiny minority.

It's obvious that gay men, and indeed single men, are less likely to have a female on hand to accompany them.
Dont be ridiculous. Its a well known fact that gay men usually have plenty of female company.
Stereotyping homosexuals?
[quote][p][bold]AirForceOne[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brisbane[/bold] wrote: Sounds as if the owners are not just homophobic but sexist as well, judging all men on the basis of the actions of a tiny minority. It's obvious that gay men, and indeed single men, are less likely to have a female on hand to accompany them.[/p][/quote]Dont be ridiculous. Its a well known fact that gay men usually have plenty of female company.[/p][/quote]Stereotyping homosexuals? Cornbeefur
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Sat 2 Feb 13

rquade says...

So a single man (straight, bi, gay, white, black, green, blue) couldn't attend on his own, but needs to find a token woman to accompany him?

Have I read the quotes right?
So a single man (straight, bi, gay, white, black, green, blue) couldn't attend on his own, but needs to find a token woman to accompany him? Have I read the quotes right? rquade
  • Score: 0

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