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US: Bar owner fined £250,000 for denying service to transgender patrons

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  1. Sad that a more acceptable solution couldn’t be found, like educating the locals

    1. I totally agree. Unfortunately this ones not so much about hatred as ignorance. I’m sure this situation was, allbeit unfairly, affecting business. We’re probably not talking about some mega corporation rather someone stuggling to keep their business afloat. Having said that he totally went the wrong way about it. Discrimination is discrimination. Banning loyal patrons was not the best way to resolve it. Maybe more discussion could have resulted in a solution? I really don’t know. Hopefully one day we will live in a world where society doesn’t see establishments as “straight” “trans” or “gay” or whatever. Maybe part of that is us as LGBTcommunity must not seek to ghettoise ourselves. Hatred should be confronted by all means but ignorance needs to be met with education kindness openess and friendliness.

  2. This is a good example of people power in action here against unscrupulous capitalism. Mr Penner protests that he’s not transphobic, but by protesting the fact that he may very well not be transphobic misses the point. He was prepared to discriminate against transgender customers when he felt that their patronage of his establishment might be having a harmful effect on his profits and that’s a pretty sad reflection on his worth as an individual. Supposing this had been a part of the USA 50 odd years’ ago that was hostile to black people or Jews and so he barred them from his bar in order not to lose custom? He’s displaying the same sort of psychology of the sort of people who collaborated with the Nazis in WWII occupied Europe – not necessarily because they believed in Nazism ideologically but purely because they saw it as advantageous to them. In a way, such calculating people seem almost worst than the ignorant and those brainwashed into bigotry.

    1. “unscrupulous capitalism.” ? Or just a business that he and his family depend on for their livelihood?

      I don’t support what he did but if you have ever run your own business what would you have done? You are faced with bankruptcy what would you do?

      It is too easy to start blaming capitalism. This was a very difficult situation with no easy solution. I really don’t know what the answer was and I don’t know what I would have done. I really sympathise with the owner, he obviously wasn’t transphobic and they had been going there for two years which proves he must have made them welcome in the past. Maybe the problem was that they were made so welcome that they took over.

      I have nothing against motor bike riders but why do they have to arrive at a quiet country pub 500 at a time? They aren’t unpopular as individuals just as a horde. There is a difference.

      Maybe the locals at this bar felt pushed out and outnumbered? That is a possibility.

      1. friday jones 2 Sep 2013, 3:01am

        That’s exalting the making of money over both human rights and the rule of law though. Might as well say it’s OK for a family to start being loan sharks or running numbers, because families need money so anything goes. It’s not OK to run a business that has separate water fountains for black people even if some of the locals were allegedly staying away because of a lack of racially-segregated facilities.

        1. Well let’s hope you are never in that position. But then it is an easy decision according to you, you would just lose your family home and move your kids into a shelter.

          Give the man a medal.

          1. For many people, siding with bigoted customers over minority customers isn’t a thinkable option.

            There is obviously only one right option. Only one legal option. It may not be a fun option, but since the other is unthinkable to many, there is no decision to be made. That makes the decision easy.

  3. MaxAintSmart 31 Aug 2013, 2:04pm

    I don’t agree with him refusing service to anybody based on race, religion, color, or creed. That’s against the law. Maybe he should have provided them a separate area. You know, like a closet.

  4. Or put it another way. If he had said he no longer wanted black people to drink at his establishment on a Friday night, because, you know, he’d had complaints that he was running a black bar, does he think he would still get away with it?

  5. There’s only ONE way to focus the mind of bigots and homophobes – especially where their ‘beliefs’ are concerned; hit ’em in the pocket. It usually has the most amazing effect on someone’s determination and morals. When faced with a big bill, their ‘beliefs’ have a habit of vanishing ….

  6. I feel sorry for the bar owner. He’s a business and surviving and earning a profit is key. The fact he has only requested what he did based on locals feedback and his declining sales is the fault of the locals, not the business owner. Further penalising what sounds like a struggling business with such a huge fine seems way out of proportion.

    I understand what he did is not right and is discrimination, on the other hand, he’s only adapting his business to the demands of the locals.

    Difficult one, but the fine is far to large.

    1. Enom….really?!? That’s like Putin adapting the laws of Russia to the demands of the locals. What if the locals says they don’t having you around? I guess, by your logic, that would be good enough to make you go away.

      1. I’m not saying it’s valid or correct, I clearly stated this in my message. A bar owner and a dispute with its patrons is slightly different to the current political situation in Russia which is barbaric and comparing this story to the shocking events in Russia is very distasteful. The points I am putting forward is this company owner, who’s main interest is to keep their business running, apparently had two options, firstly was to continue to allow the customers to return to their bar and by the owners research from locals cause his revenues to continue to decrease and thus likely no longer have a bar to keep open, causing job losses, and effect the business owner who seems to already face the crunch given the action he was forced to take, or two, in desperation of loosing his business and his staff, take action based on the bigoted views of the locals so that his business can stay viable.

        The business owner was never going to win and this is why I said it is a difficult one.

        1. I can’t agree with you, I’m afraid! Discrimanation is not the answer. As Janet said above, changing people’s attitudes toward “the other” is surely a better answer, don’t you think?

          1. And is that the bar owners job and how much of his day should he set aside for doing it and how long would he stay in business during that process?

            You are being idealistic with someone else’s livelihood. How long could you last without getting your paycheck every month?

            The law should have made a better resolution in this case it wasn’t a black and white case of discrimination.

  7. It seems like a sad outcome because the owner is just wanting to make a profit and does not seem homo/trans phobic.

  8. I’m always amazed at how stupid some business owners are. If your establishment is losing money and you want to attract a different clientele, close, renovate, and start marketing as something different. If a group like this had been meeting there, let them know what you’re doing and that the new design probably wouldn’t work for larger groups. This shows them respect and gives them the opportunity to find somewhere else to meet.

    1. But that is just discrinination by subterfuge. How would you feel if you were black and fhis bar owner tried to stop you going in on the grounds of ‘ofher customers don’t like blacks’? Same thing. Discrinimation.

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