Monday, 28 May 2007

Gay Bar Wins Right To Out Straights

A gay bar in Melbourne has won a landmark case allowing it, for the first time in Australian history, the ability to legally refuse entry to heterosexual people.

The Peel Hotel in Melbourne’s Collingwood applied to the Victorian planning tribunal for the right to not allow entry to straight men and women on the basis of preventing “sexually based insults and violence”.

Last week the tribunal granted The Peel an exemption to the Equal Opportunity Act that allows it to prohibit heterosexuals from the venue if it wishes.

The Deputy President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Cate McKenzie, wrote in her findings that “sometimes heterosexual groups and lesbian groups insult and deride and are even physically violent towards the gay male patrons.”

She mentioned that some women booked hens’ nights at the venue using the gay patrons of The Peel as entertainment. “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.”

"It 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.”


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