Should gay bars ban women? Should lesbian bars ban men? Two cases this week raise those questions.
First, in the UK, a gay bar refused service to and asked a lesbian woman and her partner to drink in a different part of the bar or leave. They wanted to drink in the "Tom's Cruise Bar" in the basement but were told that they should, because they were women, head upstairs to a different bar.
On the other side of the world, a women's party planning service in Australia just won a ruling by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to allow them to ban men. They were challenged by a men's rights group who called the ban a "double standard." Of course, the article implies that strip clubs can still ban women in Australia, so I don't really see the double standard.
Here's more about Pinkalicious, the Australian women's party planning organization:
The organisers claimed that some men were attending in order to solicit threesomes from the lesbian and bisexual women patrons.
Pinkalicious Director Julie MacKenzie complained to the tribunal she couldn't stop men attending the parties "even if I know they intend to hit on women".
Co-organiser Samantha Stevens argued men should be banned because they were attending in order to pester women for sex.
"In my experience feminine lesbians are often the target of heterosexual male fantasy, and therefore subject to more intrusive attention from them," said Stevens.
"It is a major concern that heterosexual males will attend the Pinkalicious event in the hope they can achieve their desire for a sexual experience with multiple women."
And the Key West Hotel in the UK:
Rebecca Hill and her partner were drinking at the upstairs bar of the Key West Hotel in Torquay last Sunday, just after the town's Pride festival.
They then tried to go to the downstairs bar, known as Tom's Cruise Bar but were told they could not enter because they were women.
Hill told the South Devon Herald Express: "If this was a working's man club turning away women people would say it was wrong.
"I think it is disgusting that after all the strides the gay movement has made over the years there are places still discriminating.
"For years gay people weren't being accepted in society. Key West can't say 'out and proud' if it's only for men."
The bar's owner has said that as it advertises as a gay men's resort, it reserves the right to turn away women and believes this is within the law.
Co-owner of the Key West Hotel Peter Gordon said: "Men can be naturists in the garden and we don't want lesbians or straight men kicking off because it is in their face.
"Our priority is our guests.
"We did explain the rules to one woman and told her she was welcome to drink upstairs."
They each have their reasons: the women are worried about straight men hitting on women; the men want to go nude and, understandably, they're concerned that some men wouldn't want to do that with women present. I'm also just going to assume a little more than walking around naked is going on at the Key West Hotel....
- Should banning men or women from a bar or a professionally-hosted party be legal?
- Would you go to such a party?
- Does it change anything if transgender people are accepted as the gender they are or is it always wrong/always OK?