A DATE at a Kelly Clarkson concert at Challenge Stadium turned into an unexpected eviction
for Balga residents Freedom Bradbury and Meagan Bousfield last month.
The two attended the concert as part of a birthday gift to Ms Bousfield but were surprised
to be tapped on the shoulder by a security guard for sharing a kiss during their favourite song.
“We are great fans of her and were excited to be able to go, the performance was great and the
atmosphere was fantastic, with a diverse range of people out to enjoy an artist on top of her
game,” Ms Bradbury said.
“We were having a good time and when our favourite song began we enjoyed a romantic
kiss. That is, until a security attendant approached us, tapped me on the shoulder and asked us to leave.”
Ms Bradbury said she went into a state of shock but left the venue as asked, deciding not to
let the incident ruin what she said was a great evening.
She said looking back and having examined it further, she could reach no other conclusion
“When was the last time you saw a man and woman escorted out of a venue by security for kissing in public,” she said.
“I can definitively say that is something I have never witnessed.
“We are in the year 2012, in a society that supposedly prides itself on being open-minded,
non-judgemental and offering a fair go for all, yet two women kissing can be asked to leave a
public place without the provision of any reason.”
Ms Bradbury who volunteers her time to work with young people dealing with diverse sexuality and mental health issues, said having gone through the experience it was now important she speak out.
“There were a high number of teenagers and young people in attendance at the concert
and it saddens me to think of them seeing us being removed and thinking it is OK to treat people differently because of their sexuality,” Ms Bradbury said.
“More than this, I worry for any young person who is questioning their sexuality and needs support and affirmation that it is OK to be yourself.
It could be devastating for them to see such a strong and public indication that homosexuality is somehow 'wrong'.
“I am appalled by the actions of this security person and sincerely hope that no one else has experienced this kind of archaic discrimination.”
Graham Partridge, chairman of VenuesWest, the operating body behind Challenge Stadium, said the organisation has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination in its venues and was outraged to hear of the alleged discrimination against venue customers by a contractor.
“VenuesWest welcomes everyone into its venues and we support a policy of equity and diversity
for our team, our customers and our stakeholders,” Mr Partridge said.
“VenuesWest’s conditions of entry policy ensures we only ask customers to leave the venues if they are involved in drunken, violent, abusive or other types of illegal and antisocial behaviour which affect other customers adversely.
“We are looking closely into this matter; if there is an incident of discrimination, VenuesWest will ensure the person responsible never works in one of our venues again.”
Mr Partridge said he was grateful Ms Bradbury had come forward and would be happy to work with her to complete their investigation.
WA Equal Opportunity Commissioner Yvonne Henderson said it was unlawful for someone controlling a public place paid or otherwise to discriminate on basis of sexual orientation, gender or