Discrimination | Gay Bar | Maine | News | Ogunquit

Watch: Ogunquit, Maine Bar Owner Speaks Out About Homophobic Ban on Shirtless Bartenders

Late last week I posted about Mainestreet, the Ogunquit, Maine gay bar where shirtless bartenders were ordered to cover up after complaints from a local resident, citing "health hazards."

Ogunquit According to Seacoastonline.com, state health codes are currently being reviewed to see if, in fact, the bar was in violation.

"According to Article 2-402.11(B) in the state's Food Code, counter staff at an establishment serving food are not required to wear hairnets, beard restraints, hats or clothing that covers body hair. All other employees who work around open food are required to cover up.  [Dept. of Health and Human Services' PEggy] Albert said the counter exception does not apply to Mainestreet's bartenders, however."

FOX Maine reports that the owner, Normand Paquin, thinks it's homophobia: "Paquin has complied with the requests, but believes incidents like this could portray Maine as a homophobic place and deter homosexuals from vacationing here. The bar received an outpouring of support Saturday night when hundreds of people showed up. Many of them were topless in support of the waiters."

Watch the interview with Paquin, AFTER THE JUMP...

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Would it effing kill you to put a God damn shirt on?


    Posted by: me | Jul 27, 2010 9:12:02 AM

  2. Who does Normand Paquin think he is? And how patently obnoxious of him to reportedly suggest that gays will be deterred from going to Maine. I'm sorry, Normand, but we gays don't go to bars to see shirtless men with sweat pouring down their bodies into people's drinks or all over the bar.

    Perhaps the gay bar owners' anger is more motivated by the fact that a competitive advantage has been taken away from them by this ban on shirtless bartenders. Memo to bar owners: just because you're a gay bar, it doesn't mean anything goes nor does it give you special privileges.

    I don't see female bar owners with their tits hanging out in non-gay bars in Maine.

    Posted by: jason | Jul 27, 2010 9:15:42 AM

  3. won't go to Maine anyways..not since last yrs election..NO Thank u- I know where Im not wanted....they don't want Equality- then they don't want my tourism money. We're heading to Vermont Aug 2nd, getting married Aug 4th...and spending outr $2000 vakay budget in Vermont. Maine can go pound sand.

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jul 27, 2010 9:32:50 AM

  4. @ ME and JASON
    What parallel universe do you two Puritans live in? You've never heard of topless straight bars? Or wet t-shirt contests? Some of us go to clubs to have fun and cut loose and like to see a little skin. If that's a special privilege, then I guess Hooters is shit out of luck, right Jason?

    Posted by: MikeMick | Jul 27, 2010 9:36:55 AM

  5. I'm not puritanical Mikey, FAR FROM IT...but what's the big fucking deal about throwing on a wifebeater or something? Seriously...choose your battles....this battle is petty.

    Plus Mr. Paquin looks like he's been up for 3 days straight and tweaking....blink those eyes, get some sleep.

    Posted by: me | Jul 27, 2010 9:49:22 AM

  6. I don't think a topless straight bar with female bartenders outside on a patio seen by everyone walking by would be welcome anywhere! If the bartenders were women in bikinis, I'm sure the town would be equally upset. It's a very gay friendly town, with a large gay population during the summer.

    Posted by: Tom A. | Jul 27, 2010 9:51:48 AM

  7. I personally don't have a problem with being served a cocktail by a shirtless male. I might feel different about someone preparing a meal for me though. I actually do have a problem with go-go boys walking over my drink. I was at a bar once and he stepped over my drink and one of his hairs escaped his jock and made it's way into my gin and tonic. A $10.00 drink ruined.

    Posted by: Matt | Jul 27, 2010 9:53:55 AM

  8. Wrote a short post on this last week and was surprised at the reaction; seemed like a pretty small thing to get worked up about. But, it would seem that we're all a bit sensitive about perceived discrimination.

    Maine gays suffered a set back last year and I think the wound is still raw. It apparently doesn't take much to add salt to it.

    Posted by: Ray | Jul 27, 2010 10:01:23 AM

  9. @ Matt....IMO a drink is never ruined by an odd stray pubic hair! Alcohol is far to precious...besides! I'm sure the gin would have killed whatever may have or may not have been creaping up and down the go-go pubes.
    Bottoms up, darling! ;)

    Posted by: Bobo | Jul 27, 2010 10:30:27 AM

  10. People who don't like shirtless boys are guys who are jealous they can't go shirtless because of their own looks. FACT.

    Posted by: Jimmy | Jul 27, 2010 10:40:16 AM

  11. Leave it to a FOX NEWS affilate to refer to "topless men" rather than "shirtless men."

    Posted by: Jimmy | Jul 27, 2010 10:42:25 AM

  12. Shirts vs. no shirts is not the whole issue here, Puritans. The issue is busy-body Harriets (and their ilk) meddling in the lives of others because they have nothing better to do with their small-town minds. Such people are irrationally terrified of gay male skin and that Ogunquit will magically turn into P-town. The same meddling minds claimed that marriage equality in VT would lead to naked men parading down our town streets. (No Joke.) It's a BEACH town. Children are not going to be freaked out by a few "topless" men.

    And, congrats, Disgusted American! VTers welcome you. :-)

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 27, 2010 10:59:26 AM

  13. This is such a stupid story to keep alive, put a damn shirt on and go on with life. I, for one, do not want to be served by a shirtless bartender for amy reason.. the gay world wants respect but yet allows this to be a talking point...wake up.. What's next? a 400lb extremely hairy bear applies for the job and gets turned down.. lawsuits, discrimination talk and another whole can of worms to talk about..

    Posted by: NewEng | Jul 27, 2010 11:01:07 AM

  14. Glad to see the locals are supporting the bar. Normally this kind of pressure is relieved by greasing the right palms.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 27, 2010 11:02:08 AM

  15. This is not homophobia! How ridiculous! It's about health and safety and about public standards and all that. Ogunquit should be allowed decide what's best for Ogunquit, and that town has decided that topless bartenders just doesn't gel with the place. It's completely fair enough. Calling that homophobia is like calling anti-cruising ordinances homophobic. They absolutely are not - public sex is illegal ... that means it's illegal for gay men also. Get over it.

    Posted by: DavyG | Jul 27, 2010 11:17:09 AM

  16. Yeah, DavyG, they may get a cold ...

    Posted by: Chris | Jul 27, 2010 11:58:51 AM

  17. @Matt: You're not in marketing, are you? That G&T appreciated by several dollars; you just didn't capitalize on the opportunity.

    Posted by: A. Beaverhausen | Jul 27, 2010 12:11:16 PM

  18. Health and safety my ass. Ernie nailed it; this is about getting pushed around when we're not doing anything wrong. Which is why I was at MaineStreet with my boyfriend and two buddies with our shirts off this past Saturday. Not that I think the world needs to see more of my decaying middle-aged body, but to say fuck you to the Harriet Yaffes of the world. And to the "put your shirt on" gayboys on the blog, I'm sure there are plenty of places where the staff stays safely clad. Find one.

    Posted by: MikeMick | Jul 27, 2010 12:14:03 PM

  19. The idea that somehow a bartender with a shirt on is more hygenic than one without is stupid. It's all a sex-panic and in reality has nothing to do with health.

    Posted by: db | Jul 27, 2010 12:31:30 PM

  20. It does make me wonder why their bar is being called out on it. Come on guys, show me a gay guy that doesn't want to see a hot shirtless guy and I'll show you a closet hetero!

    Posted by: terry | Jul 27, 2010 12:39:55 PM

  21. I think it's fine for the bartenders to be shirtless, just not the patrons. There's manhunt for that kind of cavorting.

    Posted by: ty | Jul 27, 2010 1:06:15 PM

  22. Seriously. File a frickin' lawsuit if you're that annoyed. And what's with all the prude gay people on here.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Jul 27, 2010 1:07:42 PM

  23. Cavorting? Canoodling? You people are hilarious! SO ashamed--so deeply ashamed...just the way they wantcha. This is homophobia.

    Posted by: TANK | Jul 27, 2010 1:12:24 PM

  24. The red stripe goes on the top.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 27, 2010 2:01:14 PM

  25. There is nothing wrong with shirtless bartenders. If some of you gays can't deal with that, go to a DIFFERENT BAR.

    Posted by: Eric26 | Jul 27, 2010 2:18:21 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «South Bend, Indiana Tables LGBT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance« «