Jan 302013
Jhon Jairo Yepes Giraldo and Paul Creane outside the Sapphire beauty salon

A couple are going to the police claiming that a beauty salon refused to treat them together because they are gay.

Paul Creane, 44, and his civil partner Jhon Jairo Yepes Giraldo, 42, were bought a £180 treatment package by Mr Creane’s sister as a Christmas present.

Mr Creane, who works as a supervisor for a construction company, attempted to book the treatment at Sapphire beauty salon in High Road, Woodford Green.

He said: “I called them and said I wanted to make an appointment for my partner and me.

“A woman at the salon said ‘What’s her name? I said ‘his’ name is Jhon? Is that a problem?’

“She said ‘I will have to check. We don’t see men together.’

“I was shocked. I said ‘Are you telling me you don’t treat homosexuals?’ She said ‘Yes.’

“I said ‘You are breaking the law’ at which point she went off and checked again.

“She then came back and said she was just following company policy.”

A furious Mr Creane demanded to talk to the manager and was passed to a woman called Cassie.

He said: “I told her that I was appalled that her salon would not treat homosexuals, but she said I had got it wrong.

“So I said ‘OK then, I would like to make an appointment’ but she just repeated the line that they did not treat men together.”

Mr Creane went to the salon to get his money back.

He said: “I walked in and this woman asked me if I had an appointment.

“I said ‘No, I’m the homosexual who was trying to make an appointment.’

“Her chin just hit the floor.”

“She said to me ‘We have apologised to you, and you can come for a treatment, but not with your husband. Bring a female friend instead.”

Mr Creane has reported the matter to gay rights group Stonewall as well as Groupon, the company his sister bought the beauty treatment from.

He added: “I will also be reporting the matter to the police. They have picked on the wrong gay man.

“It’s 2013 and you cannot act like this.”

His partner Jhon, who works as a hairdresser, added: “I have spoken to so many friends about this and none of them can believe it.

“What did they think at this place? That we were going to come in and start having sex? I have never experienced anything like this.”

The Guardian went to Sapphire and spoke to a woman who identified herself as Cassie.

She said: “I am not willing to talk about this. Please leave the premises.”

Dominic Sutton

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Gay couple refused treatment at beauty salon (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)