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L.A. Gay Bar Owner David Cooley Discusses Their New Ban on Bachelorette Parties: VIDEO

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David Cooley, the owner of popular L.A. gay bar The Abbey, joined CNN's Brooke Baldwin over the weekend to discuss his decision to ban bachelorette parties, because they are offensive to gay people who can't get married.

Baldwin asks Cooley why that wouldn't be viewed as discrimination.

Said Cooley: "It's great to see my straight women coming in and celebrating with their girlfriends...As I kept seeing this, it was hurtful to me  being gay, as well as my clientele, that we could not have that same type of a celebration."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. low-thinkers will complain that this is "Hypocrisy!" and "a double-standard!' and "Discrimination!" and "we're doing the same thing we complain about OTHERS doin!"

    intelligent minds will see that it's not a "different set of rules", it's a different set of CIRCUMSTANCES.

    yes, it gets tiresome having a gaggle of drunken bachelorette girls flying around the gay bar/club in a big old "omg, look at me! i'm gettin married!!!" thing, over and over again. a popular club in toronto started playin hardcore gay porn on the tv screens in hopes to curb it. why? clientele was dropping off. why? because everyone saw, and felt, and SAID that it was becoming a "straight girl bachelorette" bar.

    there can indeed be great fun groups. some girls just love their gays and want to celebrate WITH them

    but the marriage equality side of it is a hard truth. they come in to celebrate something that most gay couples in america cannot legally do. and all too often they treat being "in a gay bar" as if they're in a magical alien zoo. "OMG, look at us! we're around GAY PEOPLE"

    yes, and we're trying to get a beer. so kindly move, please.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 29, 2012 6:17:51 PM


  2. Most of these girls are at a gay bar because their soon to be husband wont think they'll get hit on around gay men. Only problem is at least here in Mass, straight men are now visiting gay bars to get with the stupidly drunk girls who would think they wouldn't find heterosexual men at a gay bar/club. So now we have drunk girls, and predatory heteros inside a gay bar/club. At least here I would be able to marry my partner. I fully support this initiative and would love to see this become a norm at every gay bar/club in the country!

    Posted by: Rafa | May 29, 2012 6:26:36 PM


  3. If you cannot relate to the decision:
    A-- imagine it's 1955, and the League of Women Voters wants to party at a Black club in the South. Even WORSE, the rights existed and were voted away.
    B--- do Gay folks really need gawkers saying how cute they are, as if they are monkeys.

    Posted by: Bob | May 29, 2012 6:27:59 PM


  4. No club,gay or straight, is obligated to be a venue for Bachelor or Bachelorette parties let alone to put up with drunks whose behaviour may be offensive to other bar patrons.

    Posted by: Swiminbuff | May 29, 2012 6:31:18 PM


  5. they are NOT preventing women from entering - straight or gay- they are preventing Bachlorette parties.....I think thats fair!

    Posted by: disgusted american | May 29, 2012 6:35:12 PM


  6. they are NOT preventing women from entering - straight or gay- they are preventing Bachlorette parties.....I think thats fair!

    Posted by: disgusted american | May 29, 2012 6:35:12 PM


  7. they are NOT preventing women from entering - straight or gay- they are preventing Bachlorette parties.....I think thats fair!

    Posted by: disgusted american | May 29, 2012 6:35:12 PM



  8. Some of us gays arent the type “if i cant have it, nobody cant“ attitude.
    the girls that do come to gay bars are more or less our friends and allies than enemies. NOM women dont hold bachelorette parties here.

    Posted by: Malaysian Ho | May 29, 2012 6:36:44 PM


  9. The bar 'Cocktail' in Boystown, Chicago banned bachelorette parties years ago. Lemme tell you, they were extremely annoying. Totally inconsiderate of anyone's feelings but their own. It's bizarre to me that bachelorettes can't see how insensitive their celebrations are in gay bars where there isn't marriage equality.

    Posted by: Curt | May 29, 2012 6:39:06 PM


  10. sorry about the triple post - pc acting up....but the comment is the same

    Posted by: disgusted american | May 29, 2012 6:42:00 PM


  11. It's a privately owned business, no? They dont have to let bachelorettes have their parties there anymore than they have to "let" a KKK group have a party there...

    Posted by: Natamaxxx | May 29, 2012 6:43:43 PM


  12. It's a privately owned business, no? They dont have to let bachelorettes have their parties there anymore than they have to "let" a KKK group have a party there...

    Posted by: Natamaxxx | May 29, 2012 6:43:44 PM


  13. He has a good point.. but personally I don't care about straight women at a gay bar, they are just out to have a good time! And if they like partying with their gays then more power to them!

    Oh, and I'm loving Brooke Baldwin lately. it's refreshing to see more coverage of gay/lesbian issues on CNN. Before they largely ignored us..

    Posted by: Lucas | May 29, 2012 6:55:55 PM


  14. Just to put this in perspective, imagine that a group of straight men (or for that matter, gay men) wanted to hold a batchelor's party in a lesbian bar. Or imagine that a group of gay men wanted to have a batchelor's party on a ship during a women-only cruise.

    Just imagine the reaction it would elicit.

    Posted by: Rick | May 29, 2012 7:10:03 PM


  15. Like everything else having to do with The Abbey, I think this policy is stupid and offensive. Don't get me wrong--I have no interest in being besieged by a bunch of straight bachelorettes intending to get their drunk on. That is why I hang out at bars like The Eagle or Faultline. But I digress. The desire to discourage bachelorette parties is understandable. But what The Abbey should have done is put in place a policy in which bachelorettes get to celebrate at The Abbey only if they first make a donation to some designated marriage equality/gay rights organization totaling, say, $250 per participant in the party. That way, we don't alienate girls who probably already support our equality, we discourage girls who would behave insensitively, and we funnel money into organizations fighting for our rights. Win-win.

    Posted by: peterparker | May 29, 2012 7:12:08 PM


  16. OOOOh! PeterParker for the win. That's a lovely idea, actually.

    "Hey, ladies, if you wanna come ogle the gays, make donation to a pro-Equality cause first"

    i actually dig that.

    i also dig how Rick came on and totally proved my first statement right by showing what a low-thinker he is. His "perspective" arguments are hilariously inept. Many lesbian bars have a policy about male patrons and with good reason - like Cubbyhole in NYC, i totally support their refusal to let groups of men enter. It makes total sense to anyone with a brain who's actually lived in the real outside world.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 29, 2012 7:24:55 PM


  17. It's also just plain f*cking annoying for bachelorette parties to be at gay bars. They're usually obnoxious and intrusive and often drive away the regular clientele. Gay people are not side attractions you can come gawk at for your own amusement.

    Posted by: Scott | May 29, 2012 7:28:17 PM


  18. Can someone explain to me why would straight women go to a gay bar to celebrate getting married to a supposedly straight man? When I was doing bars, I never understood the concept of straight, drunk women, in a gay bar, attempting to grope gay guys. What is the use of such an exercise? The mind boggles.

    Posted by: vanndean | May 29, 2012 7:31:34 PM


  19. "Gay people are not side attractions you can come gawk at for your own amusement."

    That is exactly what most straight women see gay men as being; social accessories, playthings, not men to be taken seriously AS MEN.

    And gay men who allow them to do so are beyond pathetic.

    Posted by: Rick | May 29, 2012 7:33:35 PM


  20. I love how the reporter tells David Cooley that some people view this ban as a form of discrimination. Uh, so preventing gays from getting married is NOT a discrimination? Okay.

    Posted by: KMC | May 29, 2012 7:35:05 PM


  21. @peterparker - Nice. I think your way would be more effective and inclusive.

    @littlekiwi - man, I almost always enjoy your posts, esp. ones concerning race/class and sexuality, but it wasn't until your post on this news item, did I realize how awfully patronizing you are to those who don't see things as you do. I think peterparker's idea serves two goals at once: continual engagement and outreach with our "allies" and raise money for ongoing political action. win-win, indeed.

    Posted by: mboaz | May 29, 2012 7:36:05 PM


  22. I'm liking PeterParker's idea a ton. Sounds like the perfect compromise.

    Posted by: Francis | May 29, 2012 7:48:30 PM


  23. i wasn't being patronizing to peter, i actually genuinely think that's a clever alternative to this situation. you misread my tone :D i'm a fan of it.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | May 29, 2012 7:50:12 PM


  24. I dunno. He isn't baring the woman from entering, he is just prohibiting throwing a party. Years ago I went to a Chippendale's show at a straight bar with my girl friends and was prohibited from entering. I was told absolutely no men and that I would have to wait outside. Now that is outright discrimination. We all left. I think there are better ways to protest discrimination against us than the ban even if I can kind of see his point.

    Posted by: G McGinnis | May 29, 2012 7:53:10 PM


  25. @littlkiwi - My post was written before I saw your approval of peterparker's alternative course of action. So we agree :-)

    Posted by: mboaz | May 29, 2012 7:56:08 PM


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