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March 28, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Kebabs with a side of discrimination

Staff members at Wellington’s Cuba Kebab have been accused of homophobia after a Victoria University student was harassed in the store.

Student Isobel Mackinnon said she used the bathroom at Cuba Kebab on Friday 18 March, and as she was walking out of the store afterward heard members of the staff saying “lesbian, lesbian”. She turned to see the men looking at her and laughing. When she confronted them, and said that she would not be returning to the store, one of them replied “good, because we don’t want you”.

Mackinnon had on this occasion not bought anything from the kebab shop, but stated that she, like many Victoria University students, was a regular at the store on drunken nights in town, and so justified her use of the bathroom when “needs must”.

Although Mackinnon sent an email of complaint to the owner of Cuba Kebab the following day, she has received no reply. When Salient contacted the food outlet, an employee said he was unable to comment without his boss present.

Mackinnon said she was “disgusted and infuriated” by the incident. She has called for a boycott of Cuba Kebab until the store makes a gesture to show that homophobia is not tolerated in the business. Her suggestion is for a donation to a charity such as queer youth support group School’s Out.

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