Monday, May 28, 2007

Bottoms Up . . . .

From Reuters this morning:

Gay Australian pub wins right to ban straights
Mon May 28, 2007 2:09AM EDT

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - An Australian hotel catering for homosexuals has won the right to ban heterosexuals from its bars so as to provide a safe and comfortable venue for gay men.

In what is believed to be a first for Australia, the Victorian state civil and administrative tribunal ruled last
week that the Peel Hotel in the southern city of Melbourne could exclude patrons based on their sexuality.

Australia's equal opportunity laws prevent people being discriminated against based on race, religion or sexuality.

But Peel Hotel owner Tom McFeely said the ruling was necessary to provide gay men with a non-threatening atmosphere to freely express their sexuality.
"If I can limit the number of heterosexuals entering the Peel, then that helps me keep the safe balance," Peel told Australian radio on Monday.

McFeely said that, while the hotel welcomed everyone, its gay clientele had expressed discomfort over the number of heterosexuals and lesbians coming to the venue in the past year.

He said there were more than 2,000 venues in Melbourne that catered to heterosexuals, but his hotel was the only one marketing itself predominantly to gay men.

Victoria's state human rights commission backed the ruling, saying it was in line with equal opportunity guidelines defending the rights of groups subject to discrimination.

Commission chief Helen Szoke said the hotel's gay clientele had experienced harassment and violence. "(They) also have felt as though they've been like a zoo exhibit with big groups of women on hens' parties coming to the club," Szoke told reporters.

McFeely told the radio that the hotel had received homophobic telephone calls since news of the ruling was made public.
© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved.

Yeah, but think of the $dollar$ bills these guys will lose out on from the straight girls . . . .


Anonymous said...

This is such an interesting issue! There's a bar here (creatively named the Gay 90's) that was historically a gay bar, but has become *the* place for bachelorette parties, etc. I also know lots of het-identified students who go there. Or maybe "went there" - I don't even know if it still exists.

So many places I've lived the "gay bars" become *the* place to go - people say they're more fun, have better music, etc. But, I've always been torn between the various arguments about exclusion, etc. It's interesting to see the rationale used by the Aussies. Thanks for the post.

And, as for Alabama. Secede, secede.

West End Bob said...

I like that Alabama. Secede, secede thing. We'll have to get "drf"'s mother out first, though!

Daniel wbc said...

In New Orleans, the major dance place is a gay bar. They found it prudent to put a very large sign outside their doors stating that it's a gay establishment and that if you can't behave yourselves and respect that, you'll be asked to leave.

I recently had an experience here in Seattle where some friends and I went out to the dance club, a gay bar, and the straight men were very obnoxious and I really really resented it. I don't go to straight clubs to avoid that frat boy energy. I am pissed as hell that I had to deal with it at a gay place.

I don't believe in exclusion, but I do believe in making it clear that this is gay space and you're welcome here if you can acknowledge that and be respectful.