The oldest gay bar in Brighton has caused a stir over a sign about who the venue is suitable for.

The Bulldog Tavern in St James’s Street in Kemp Town has a controversial sign on the door of the premises stating: ‘This is a gay venue for gay clientele and their friends only’.

Resident Gavin Kinsey said he believes the sign needs to be reworded.

The 32-year-old said: “I do not see how this is allowed. No other business would be allowed to discriminate against gay people, so what gives them the right to display the sign?”

Patricia Weller, 40, from Preston Park, was told about the sign by a friend who had been deeply offended by it.

She said: “I think it’s unnecessary. Everyone knows it’s a gay bar and that sign seems discriminatory.”

James Hunstman, 51, of Kemp Town, did not see the need for the sign and the upset it could cause.

He said: “It’s a bit daft because you would have thought that gay people went in there anyway. It’s a weird thing to do.

“I think everyone who lives round here knows that The Bulldog is a gay bar so that sign is redundant.”

Paul Dunn, 48, from Brighton, did not see any problem with the sign.

He said: “It doesn’t offend me in the slightest. It’s all part of the Brighton community, with different types of people and diversity.

“I think people that are complaining just got out of bed on the wrong side.”

Monika Smach, 26, a hotel manager in Kemp Town, said: “I’ve got no complaints about it to be honest and we’ve never had any complaints from any of our guests.

“I know that they are very busy but they never cause any trouble.”

A barman at The Bulldog said that everyone was welcome at the pub and the sign did not say that straight people were not allowed on to the premises.

He said: “”It’s just establishing that this is a gay venue. That’s all it is.

“It’s just so people know what we are. They are all welcome to come in.”