Bar Wins Right To Exclude Non Gays
Posted by pozlife on May 29, 2007
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: May 29, 2007 – 9:00 am ET
(Melbourne, Australia) A gay bar in Melbourne has been granted an exemption to the Victoria state human rights law allowing it to bar anyone other than gay males.
The Peel Hotel went before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to argue that straights and some lesbians were making gay male customers uncomfortable. In some instances, said owner Tom McFeely gay patrons were insulted and harassed by straight customers.
McFeely said the Peel was the only exclusively gay venue in Melbourne.
“We’re the only one out of 2,000 venues in Melbourne. Those heterosexuals have other places to go to, my homosexuals do not,” he told Southern Cross Broadcasting.
“The only place they can feel comfortable and safe is the Peel and that’s the reason.
The tribunal agreed with him, granting an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act.
In the tribunal’s ruling deputy president Cate McKenzie wrote that the bar was in danger of of being swamped by heterosexual men and women.
“This would undermine or destroy the atmosphere which the company wishes to create,” McKenzie wrote.
“Sometimes heterosexual groups and lesbian groups insult and deride and are even physically violent towards the gay male patrons.”
“To regard the gay male patrons of the venue as providing an entertainment or spectacle to be stared at, as one would at an animal at a zoo, devalues and dehumanizes them,” she wrote.
The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Lobby Group praised the ruling.
“This exemption was not sought to exclude members of the community but to try to maintain a safe space for men to meet,” a spokesperson said.
Source: Gay News From 365Gay.com