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Old 06-02-2007, 09:04 AM   #1
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Legal Discrimination

I support it as a matter of principle, but would like to see some equality in the way that the law treats these situations (could a club owner ban gays - or is it just a one way street for certain marginalised groups in society)
Quote:
A MELBOURNE pub catering for gay men has won the right to refuse entry to heterosexuals in a landmark ruling at the state planning tribunal.

The owners of Collingwood's Peel Hotel applied to ban straight men and women to try to prevent "sexually based insults and violence" towards its gay patrons.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last week granted the pub an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act, effectively prohibiting entry to non-homosexuals.

VCAT deputy president Cate McKenzie said if heterosexual men and women came into the venue in large groups, their number might be enough to swamp the gay male patrons.

"This would undermine or destroy the atmosphere which the company wishes to create," Ms McKenzie said in her findings.

"Sometimes heterosexual groups and lesbian groups insult and deride and are even physically violent towards the gay male patrons."

Some women even booked hens' nights at the venue using the gay patrons as entertainment, Ms McKenzie said.

"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 dehumanises them," she said.

"(This exemption) seeks to give gay men a space in which they may, without inhibition, meet, socialise and express physical attraction to each other in a non-threatening atmosphere."

The Peel manager Tom McFeely told the tribunal the plan to refuse entry had been advertised at the hotel, with no objections received.

Mr McFeely said most of the regulars at the hotel had responded positively.

A spokeswoman for the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Lobby Group said she believed the ruling made the Peel one of only two men-only venues in Melbourne.

"This exemption was not sought to exclude members of the community but to try to maintain a safe space for men to meet," the spokeswoman said.

She said gay men at the Peel had recently been ostracised and made to feel like "zoo animals".

"It's sad that members of our community would have to go to the VCAT to preserve their rights," the spokeswoman said.

"This is one of the only free venues with live music in the area, so certainly some people may feel a bit unhappy about the decision."
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:38 AM   #2
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Well if gay people can be kicked out of a "straight" bar for kissing and the establishment can get away with that (granted that was in the US and not Australia) then I think gay people are entitled to a safe haven. Does a safe haven always constitute discrimination? At what point do people who have been so discriminated against have the right to try to escape that?
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:40 AM   #3
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^ As soon as a club owner decides that they want to cater to a specific clientele at the expense of another one. It may be discrimination but in this case it's for a positive reason, if somebody did it because they plain loathed a certain group I wouldn't give them my money.
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Old 06-02-2007, 11:21 AM   #4
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Allow me to bold the important parts of the article:

Quote:
"Sometimes heterosexual groups and lesbian groups insult and deride and are even physically violent towards the gay male patrons."

Some women even booked hens' nights at the venue using the gay patrons as entertainment, Ms McKenzie said.


...

"This exemption was not sought to exclude members of the community but to try to maintain a safe space for men to meet," the spokeswoman said.

She said gay men at the Peel had recently been ostracised and made to feel like "zoo animals".
I think this specific situation deserves more than some trite tirade against anti-discrimination laws, as a whole.
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Old 06-02-2007, 11:42 AM   #5
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This situation is not the same as a club banning asians or men of middle eastern appearance and I think that most people are sympathetic to that detail. In this specific case the owners should have the right to make their premises a safe space. It is a form of positive discrimination (as much as when companies or education institutions have diversity quotas) but the fact that the courts have to get involved at all is a sticking point.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:20 AM   #6
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I don't get it. Hire bouncer(s). If someone is behaving inappropriately, boot them.

I missed that part that ormus bolded though...so, there's an issue of lesbians harassing gay men? Seriously? I mean, what the hell?
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