COUNTY NEWS: Supermarket kiss triggers '˜homophobic staff remark'

A gay couple have expressed their shock after they claimed a kiss in a supermarket led to a homophobic remark by a staff member.

The Tesco superstore in Broadpiece, Wick where the incident happened. Picture: Google Earth
The Tesco superstore in Broadpiece, Wick where the incident happened. Picture: Google Earth

Aidan Skinner from Littlehampton and his boyfriend Sean West went to the Tesco superstore in Broadpiece, Wick, on the afternoon of December 12 to buy a bottle of wine and a meal for a romantic film night.

The pair went to the checkout to pay, at which point Mr Skinner, 21, said he kissed Mr West, 20, from Worthing on the cheek.

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According to Mr Skinner, the till operator then said ‘do you have to do that in here, especially two guys’.

After an argument with the staff member, who Mr Skinner described as a young woman, the couple left without buying their shopping.

Mr Skinner said they were ‘shocked’ by the incident, as they had never encountered homophobia in the 11 months they have been together.

“It made me feel really upset. I had never gone through something like that before; it’s the 21st century.

“We go to a lot of the nightclubs locally, and walk in the town centre holding hands and we have had nothing said to us at all, and then we go into a supermarket and this happens to us.”

Mr Skinner, who works night shifts at the Sainsbury’s store in Rustington, said customer service needed to be improved at the Tesco store.

“I get how hard the shifts can be and that they could be having a bad day, but you don’t take it out on someone you are serving.

“To be honest, everyone is the same and they should be treated the same – it just seems too good to be true.”

Mr Skinner said that the staff member would not apologise, and that a customer queuing behind them shook their head when she made her remarks. He has also called the store several times for an apology, but said he got little response.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Everyone is welcome at Tesco and it is never our intention to cause any offence.

“We have apologised to Mr Skinner and invited him into the store to discuss his concerns with our store manager.”

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