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Ferry line denies lesbian discrimination claims

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17:34 CET+01:00
Ferry company Viking Lines has strongly denied charges of discrimination after a woman claimed she was asked to stop kissing another woman during a cruise to the Baltic Sea island of Åland.

A spokeswoman for the firm told The Local that several guests had requested staff to intervene after a party of passengers had allegedly got out of control mid-cruise.

"These women were doing more than just kissing," said Helena Kneck.

"There were photos being taken that definitely weren't meant for the family album."

Emma Lundquist, 26, claimed that she was ejected from the ferry's nightclub by security guards who said the company would not tolerate women kissing on the boat.

"They took me by the arm in front of 30 or so passengers and said that I was dressed too provocotively and looked like a prostitute," she told Aftonbladet.

Lundquist said that the had found the whole experience very traumatic.

"I've never felt so small. I broke down completely and didn't know where I should go," she said.

According to Viking Line however, the decision to ask her to leave the disco had nothing to do with her sexual orientation.

"Five or six people got in touch with the reception desk and asked us to do something.

"There was a guy taking photographs which some passengers thought were intended for a pornographic magazine. The passengers were scared that their faces could end up on the photos," said Kneck.

The photographer, who Kneck said was taking pictures with professional camera equipment, was asked by security guards to leave. He complied with their wishes, but another man soon arrived to take his place.

"We take a dim view on the version of events presented to the media, which constituted an attack on our good name," said Kneck.

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