US: Board rules that gay bar ‘discriminated’ by refusing entry to drag queen

Nick Duffy August 5, 2014
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A board has ruled that a Denver gay bar illegally discriminated against a drag queen, when it refused them entry.

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies has ruled that Vito Maranzo had his “right to public accommodations” violated, when he was denied entry to The Wrangler bar in Colorado because he was dressed in drag.

Maranzo was wearing a dress, high heels, makeup and a wig, following an appearance at a drag pageant.

He told Planet Transgender: “After the pageant, many participants began to change out of their drag clothes and head to the Denver Wrangler, a short walk down the street. I found my outfit quite comfortable and had no issue remaining in what I wearing.”

However, he was not allowed in to the venue.

He said: “At no point during this incident – and I repeat, at no point – did they say I was being denied entry because of my poor attitude or because I was acting belligerently.

“This was a debate about whether one of their policies is inherently transphobic.”

He added: “For me, what I am taking from this [ruling] is the vindication that Wrangler was wrong and does use its policies to discriminate against individuals.

“I want The Wrangler to change their policy, to create a welcoming atmosphere, and to stop this nonsense of discriminating against members of our community.”

Civil rights lawyer Darold Killmer said: “The law is new and developing. I think you will see more cases that are consistent with this ruling.

“I think this was a courageous decision, but a correct decision by the Civil Rights Division.”

Related topics: bar, Colorado, denver, drag, drag queen, Gay, ruling, US

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