Monday, March 23, 2009

A question of flaunting

"Until same-sex marriage is legal everywhere and same-sex couples are allowed the rights as every heterosexual couple worldwide, we simply do not think it's fair or just for a female bride-to-be to celebrate her upcoming nuptials here at Cocktail. We are entitled to an opinion, this is ours."

This article is making the rounds on the gay blogosphere, so I wanted to see what readers thought of it (the discussion at JMG is interesting):
The women come to celebrate without having to worry about straight men pawing them. The gay men are there because, well, they don't want to be around a lot of women.

For years, some bar owners have tried to accommodate both groups, but that's becoming increasingly difficult. With California's vote last November in favor of the gay-marriage ban known as Proposition 8, some gays are saying that bachelorette parties at their bars are becoming more than a minor nuisance. They're a constant reminder that gays don't have equal marriage rights.

"The women are a hoot, and some can be just delightful," said Geno Zaharakis, the owner of Cocktail, a gay bar on North Halsted Street. "But because not everybody can get married, watching them celebrate, it's such a slap in the face. Prop 8 just reopened the wound."

Zaharakis told me that Cocktail stopped hosting bachelorette parties a couple of years ago when he noticed his gay patrons weren't just complaining about the women being minor irritants but about them "flaunting" their right to marry. So Zaharakis hung a sign on the front door of his establishment that says, "Bachelorette Parties Are Not Allowed."
I'd be curious to know what your take on it.

As a side note, I call it "homo-tourism" with my straight friends -- taking the girls to the gay bar. That's just one the many words I bring to the table. :-)


Anonymous said...

I think its totally acceptable for Cocktails to have such a policy.

Its a privately owned establishment.

And it doesn;t read that they aren't allowing women to enter because the Cocktailarticle reads "hosting parties" which makes it sound more like organized preset Bachelorette Parties than just a group of gals going out for a drink.

Jere Keys said...

Interesting. They're treading a fine line, here, in public accommodation non-discrimination law, the ban on a specific behavior (bachelorette parties) may be legally found to violate the spirit of the law (that one cannot be denied access to services available to the general public because of sexual orientation). It would make an interesting court case.

Jere Keys said...

Just to elaborate a bit more on my worry that this might actually be illegal. In another area of nondiscrimination (workplace - race), can you imagine an employer who specifically bans anyone from wearing "dreadlocks, weaves, cornrows or elaborate hair" as an employee? Although the employer can require professional hair in the workplace, a policy that targets African Americans in practice violates the spirit of the law.

This policy might cause the same problem. Despite whatever good intentions, the policy may be interpreted as a de facto ban on heterosexuality - and sexual orientation nondiscrimination laws do apply both directions.

valereee said...

I think it's incredibly insensitive to bring a bride-to-be into a gay bar for her bachelorette party.