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State Cites Gay Bar for Discrimination

intolerance

This Week’s Sign the Apocalypse is Upon Us

It hard to believe that our highly-evolved society still has such bigotry and discrimination. Especially in the business community, which seems to under the impressions that they have control over how and whom they provide their services. What do they think they are? A private enterprise? Where do they think they are? A free market?

Luckily, we have government bureaucracy to mandate away all the bigotry. And they’re starting in what is surely a hotbed of homophobia– gay bars.

As Scott Shackford at Reason.com reports:

A Denver bar has been cited by the state’s Division of Civil Rights for discrimination because it refused to let a gay man dressed in drag enter. The bar is the Denver Wrangler, and despite what its name might suggest, it is not some Country Western joint. It is, in fact, a gay bar. The state has determined that a gay bar has discriminated against a gay person.

What happened last summer is that a gay man named Vito Marzano, dressed in drag from a fundraiser elsewhere, wanted to enter the Wrangler. He was denied entry. The bar claims it wasn’t because he was cross-dressing, but because his image didn’t match his driver’s license. The bar had been previously cited for serving somebody underage and were now being extra cautious.

Marzano is not transgender and has made no claims that he is. Nevertheless, the State of Colorado has determined that the Wrangler has likely violated Marzano’s right to public accommodation on the basis of his appearance.

The bar’s dress code forbids “high-heeled shoes, wigs, appearance-altering make-up, or strong perfumes.” The right of businesses (bars, in particular) to create and enforce dress codes has long been recognized…because private businesses have the right to set their own rules about how, and to whom, they provide their services, right?

Wrong.

The Denver Post reports:

DORA’s investigation found that The Wrangler is known as a “bear bar” that prides itself on being a popular watering hole for gay men displaying hypermasculine characteristics.

Steven Chavez, director of the Civil Rights Division, focused heavily on the bar’s dress code policy in his written opinion.

“At face value, the (bar’s) policies appear legitimate and nondiscriminatory,” Chavez wrote. “However, the evidence indicates that the (bar) uses its policies to select patrons whose appearance is masculine, whether or not they are male or female, for entry into its club.”

So again, a state department has decided that a gay bar is discriminating against gay patrons. Not even the owners of the Wrangler can just “be their way.” They have to be government’s way. Or else, they have to pay.

And that realization calls into question the true purpose of these extra-constitutional agencies (which all charge us for charging us). I’m starting to get the impression that all these government fines, penalties, regulations, and investigations are less about defending us from discrimination, and more about establishing a foundational presumption: that there is no such thing as private enterprise, property, or action. Nothing you do shall be outside the omniscient purview of government. And if you own a business, the government owns you.



  • Armand Rodriguez

    If Denver wasn’t in our country, this would make good comedy.