Assaulted and refused service at a pub for supporting women’s rights

by Simon Chambers

Assaulted and refused service at a pub for supporting women’s rights

by Simon Chambers
Simon Chambers
Case Owner
I am the solicitor representing the Group of 23 claimants.
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pledged of £30,000 stretch target from 493 pledges
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Simon Chambers
Case Owner
I am the solicitor representing the Group of 23 claimants.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Jan. 26, 2024

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Our cause has truly captured the public and media attention in Northern Ireland and will be highlighted in the Free Speech Union Speakeasy Event at Titanic Hotel, Belfast this evening. Simon has now …

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We are raising funds to take a pub to court because it refused to serve us due to our legally protected beliefs in biological sex.

Help us support women’s rights and free speech in Northern Ireland.

We are a group of 23 people – female, male, lesbian, gay, straight, young and old, from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland – who were refused service in Robinson’s Bar, Belfast, because of our legally-protected beliefs about women’s rights.

What happened to us is unlawful. It is discrimination. And it sets a dangerous precedent.

As well as being refused service, an older gay man who was part of our group was violently assaulted by a member of staff. It was a terrifying situation to be in – to be targeted for our beliefs, and subject to violence.

We are crowdfunding to pay the legal fees to take this case to court in Belfast, and uphold the principle that it is illegal to discriminate against people for holding gender critical beliefs and views that support the rights of women, girls and LGB (Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual) people.

Specifically, we are taking the owners of Robinson’s Bar, Belfast, to court to seek redress, an apology, and a promise of staff training, so that this doesn’t happen again.

No woman or man should ever be discriminated against because they believe in women’s sex-based rights and that biological sex is real, immutable, and important in policy and in law.

Help us to: 

  • Seek justice;
  • Right this wrong, and
  • Send a message to all service providers that women’s rights and LGB rights can’t be trampled on in this way.

Our story 

After a Let Women Speak (LWS) public event in Belfast on Sunday 16th April 2023, a large, disparate group of people – mostly women – went to Robinson’s Bar in the city centre. Many of us didn’t know each other before the discrimination occurred, and we all arrived at different times, either as part of small separate groups or individually. The venue was chosen at random by one initial, much smaller group of attendees, before word then spread that this was where people were socialising after the event.  

We were peaceful, friendly, and upbeat. Some of us had children and older relatives with us, and others had ordered lunch.

However, the atmosphere turned threatening when bar staff began refusing to serve people based on the messages carried by their T-shirts and lapel badges – slogans such as “Women won’t wheesht” (“Women won’t be quiet”) and “Woman: Adult Human Female” or because they had scarves, bags or badges in the colours of the Suffragette flag.

One lesbian member of our group asked if she was refused service because she was gay. Although she received no answer, we were explicitly told – and this is captured on audio and video – that we weren’t being served because our T–shirts and badges demonstrated support of women’s rights and our gender critical beliefs. Bar staff said they wouldn’t serve “Terfs”, which stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist, and is now widely regarded as a woman-hating, ageist, slur.

As we were preparing to leave, a barman physically assaulted by headbutting an older gay, gender-critical, man, leaving him with lacerations and bruising to his face. Police were called and the barman was cautioned. Knowing that this was not a safe place for any of us, and scared about what would happen next, we all left as quickly as possible.

If you can, please pledge your support and help us send a message to all service providers across Northern Ireland that it is illegal to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their legally protected beliefs. If it happened to us, it could happen to you next. Every single donation, no matter how small, is sincerely appreciated.

*Any monies received that exceed our fundraising target will be donated to other court cases and tribunals in the UK that support gender-critical women fighting to uphold their legal rights.

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