Discrimination | News | Texas


Gay Couple Kicked Off Texas Bar's Dance Floor: VIDEO

Justin Meyer, 21, and boyfriend James Douglas, 30, were pulled from the dance floor of The Cactus Canyon in Victoria, Texas last Saturday night and told by management that the bar has a policy against male same-sex couples dancing together, The Victoria Advocate reports:

The incident started as the closing notes of "Cowboys and Angels" ended, when a member of club management informed Douglas that dancing with his boyfriend, Meyer, was against the club's policy and posed a safety risk for the country music night club.

"Why?" Douglas asked the manager. "Why is it not OK for me to dance with my boyfriend when there are girls here who dance together all the time?"

Douglas said he assured management they would be able to fend for themselves in the event of an attack.

Robert Dillender, director of operations for Cactus Canyon in Victoria, said the couple was asked to leave because they were being disruptive, not for dancing.

Dillender said no such policy exists barring same sex couples from dancing together.

"We've never kicked anyone out of the club for dancing," Dillender said.

"Our obligation to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is to maintain the peace."

How the company interprets that obligation is under review, Dillender said.

"We apologize for the misunderstanding," Dillender said.

Cactus2Cactus Canyon alleges that Meyer poked the bar manager in the chest after a request to see the bar's policy prohibiting men dancing with other men was denied. However, Meyer insists no poking occurred. The Texas ACLU has since said they plan to reach out to the couple. Whether the couple has a case against the bar will largely depend on local city ordinances, according to Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Interestingly, the couple claims that what the bar management found particularly offensive was not necessarily the couple's dancing together so much as their dancing together to country music:

In the Cactus Canyon incident, during their initial confrontation, the manager told Douglas it was acceptable for them to dance together for genres like rap or hip-hop - just not country music, Douglas said.

"So you're telling me it's OK for me to bump and grind on my boyfriend to the song 'Bubble Butt,' but we can't dance a two-step?" Douglas responded.

Meyer said he has gone to Cactus Canyon since he was 18 years old.

"I'm just kind of shocked," Meyer said. "They know my face, I've been here hundreds of times, and it was just really hurtful that we couldn't dance together."

Watch a news report on the incident, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Remember when we used to have gay bars? And there was such a thing as gay culture? While equality is a wonderful thing, I don't think it means we have to give up our places and our sub-culture.I miss those things.
    Somewhere there has to be a happy medium. I don't think legal and civil equality means we have to "grind on" our boyfriends in straight bars, any more than I want to see a straight couple dry humping in my favorite gay bar,

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 26, 2013 7:37:10 PM

  2. I have been to this place several times with my fag hag cousin. It is a horrible redneck joint in a VERY small town. Who would want to go there and flaunt being queer? Terrible music and just Horrid bartenders showing teets. They are lucky they did not get their asses kicked.

    Posted by: Stephen | Dec 26, 2013 7:54:38 PM

  3. they always come up with their reasoning AFTER the fact and they think that is okay. they need to expand their 'rule' to no ladies dancing together, no retires dancing together, no amputees dancing together, no Blacks dancing together, etc. think they'd get the message? me neither...

    Posted by: mike/ | Dec 26, 2013 7:59:56 PM

  4. @Stephen : maybe they want to go there because it is the closest place they can go dancing and would rather not put an additional 50 miles on their car to go somewhere else.

    Are there any better options in the area?

    BTW, don't assume they would get their you know what kicked - maybe one or both are in good enough shape and skilled enough that anyone who tried would very much regret it.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 26, 2013 8:23:15 PM

  5. On a higher note, there is a charming movie about the friendship of two Irish boys, one straight and one gay, titled "Cowboys and Angels".

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 26, 2013 8:34:48 PM

  6. @Chris - Good point. But I'm wondering if a town the size of Victoria (64,000) has any kind of gay club.

    Posted by: Fox | Dec 26, 2013 9:09:36 PM

  7. Let's all go back in the closet K?

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Dec 26, 2013 9:17:33 PM

  8. The difference is that in gay bars we have to be gracious and welcoming to our breeder visitors, in straight bars - just the opposite - behave or get out.

    Posted by: newday | Dec 26, 2013 9:42:04 PM

  9. @NEWDAY - Amen to that! There is definitely a one way street in this regard. Gays have to behave in very defined ways in a traditional straight bar whereas straights can be as nasty as they want to be in gay bars. This is why I still firmly believe that there needs to be separate spaces.

    Posted by: trapelo | Dec 26, 2013 9:55:15 PM

  10. 'We apologize for the misunderstanding, Dillender said.' What misunderstanding?

    Posted by: Leroy Laflamme | Dec 26, 2013 10:03:02 PM

  11. Come on people this is Texas, George Bush Country! Does this really surprise anyone?!
    One of these years Texas will venture into the 21st Century, but for now it's slow movin' for them.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Dec 26, 2013 10:22:12 PM

  12. Sue for sexual discrimination against males. If they allow females to dance together, they cannot bar males as well.

    Posted by: SteveP | Dec 26, 2013 11:33:27 PM

  13. Unless there was absolutely nowhere more gay-friendly in a reasonable distance, I fail to see why they would subject themselves to a backwards straight bar. Some gay guys seem to be under the delusion that they're going to change hearts and minds by forcing themselves into situations like this. A bar where straight guys are drinking and trying to impress each other and girls is NOT the smartest place to hold your coming out party.

    Posted by: sparks | Dec 26, 2013 11:54:58 PM

  14. If two women can dance together, why can't two men? No special privileges for women!!!!!

    Posted by: sam | Dec 27, 2013 12:05:51 AM

  15. Wow, some internalized homophobia in the crowd today!

    Posted by: John Roberts | Dec 27, 2013 2:04:19 AM

  16. Good to see that Texas remains the anus of our Nation

    Posted by: Kevin thor | Dec 27, 2013 6:56:45 AM

  17. A few years ago they also threw out to women from this very bar. For holding hands.

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 27, 2013 7:27:26 AM

  18. The thing to keep in mind is that these people harassing a gay couple are just trying to be True Christians™ and let's face it, with that much bigotry they do seem very devout.

    Posted by: Steve Rider | Dec 27, 2013 7:37:30 AM

  19. I do not condone this AT ALL. But let's be honest. You want to dance with your boyfriend in small town Victoria, Texas? Why? To validate your relationship in front of a bunch of hillbillies? Why put yourself in danger?

    There is a fine line between the Lambada and civil disobedience.

    Posted by: Mitch | Dec 27, 2013 8:44:20 AM

  20. Hell even in liberal Austin where I live, there are some country bars that will kick you out for male on male dancing, even two stepping. And in this state, we have zilch protections. We can be fired for being gay, denied housing for being gay.

    I wish these guys well in their crusade. I also hope no harm comes to them. Victoria is hickville. They need to watch their back.

    Posted by: Michael Sawyer | Dec 27, 2013 10:28:27 AM

  21. Damn queers violating the sanctity of country music. They shouldn't drive pick-up trucks either.

    Posted by: terry | Dec 27, 2013 10:56:16 AM

  22. Homophobia got to go, don't want to scare the heterosexuals now do we.

    Posted by: terryp | Dec 27, 2013 11:53:17 AM

  23. What an adorable couple! it's inexcusable this happened!. yelp the bar and post negative reviews.

    Posted by: Two Dads | Dec 27, 2013 9:54:19 PM

  24. Hire a good lawyer. This establishment should be cornered to not do this again.

    Posted by: Junior | Dec 27, 2013 9:54:46 PM

  25. Write reviews all over the internet exposing this businesses homophobia so even straight allies of our community avoid it!

    Posted by: Jessie | Dec 27, 2013 9:59:22 PM

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