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Denver Wrangler Gay Bar Hit with Protest for Discriminating Against Trans People, Drag Queens: VIDEO

Wrangler

The Denver Wrangler gay bar is under fire for a transphobic gender matching ID policy, was hit by a protest on Sunday.

In September, the Denver Post reported that Vita Marzano was turned away from the bar:

According to Marzano, he visited the bar many times prior to this particular altercation and never had a problem. But when he showed up that Saturday night in drag apparel — after a fundraiser event nearby — the bouncer said his ID didn't match his appearance. This, Marzano believes, demonstrated a transphobic policy.

"My picture looked like me just with makeup on, and I didn't have a beard anymore," Marzano said. "Right away, I took off my wig." When he told the bouncer he had been there multiple times before, Marzano was told, "It doesn't matter. Your ID gender must match your gender appearance."

It's an accusation backed up by several people who protested outside the bar on Sunday and air their grievances in a new video. Marzano has since launched a boycott of the establishment.

Watch them speak out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Mississippi Town Faces Federal Lawsuit After Denying Business License to Gay Bar: VIDEO

Shannon

The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a lawsuit against Shannon, Mississippi for denying a business license to Pat Newton, a lesbian, who wanted to open a gay bar in the town in order to provide a safe space for LGBT in the area to socialize.

Watch Newton speak about applying for the license and being denied before a hostile crowd of 30 to 40 people, AFTER THE JUMP...

SPLC describes the lawsuit and its circumstances:

The complaint describes how the town of Shannon and its leaders denied a business license to Pat Newton, a lesbian, who owns O’Hara’s bar, in violation of her right to free speech and equal protection under the First and 14th Amendments.

A town cannot deny a license because of hostility toward members of a particular group. It also lacks legitimate authority to deny a license to prevent someone like Newton from sending a positive message about LGBT people in Mississippi or to prevent her from providing them a safe space.

“The mayor and aldermen have no legitimate reason to deny Pat Newton the business license,” said David Dinielli, SPLC deputy legal director. “Their opposition is rooted in blatant hostility toward a legitimate business, simply because a lesbian would operate it and because it would serve the LGBT community. They have discriminated against our client, even relishing the opportunity to discriminate.”

One alderman has stated that the town, which struggles with a shrinking tax base, welcomes the prospect of fighting a federal lawsuit rather than allow a revenue-generating gay bar to operate within the town’s boundaries. The complaint refers to him stating that he is looking forward to this lawsuit because litigation would likely delay the opening of O’Hara’s even longer.

NewtonAlso disturbing is the way the town confronted Newton about the business:

When she asked about obtaining a local business license, the mayor told her to submit an application and attend a board of aldermen meeting on June 4, when the board would vote on her application. Newton thought the hearing would be routine, but instead she encountered a hostile crowd of 30 to 40 people.

The mayor asked her to justify why she should be permitted to open the bar. After stating her reasons, the mayor asked the aldermen and citizens to raise their concerns. Newton was confronted with questions laced with insults from citizens and aldermen. One resident asked how Newton could call herself a Christian. Another asked whether she would let her daughter go into “a bar like that.”

At the end of the hearing, an adviser to the town informed the board that Newton had met all the requirements for her application but that the application could be denied on public health and safety concerns. The board denied the application by a 4-to-1 vote – even though no legitimate evidence regarding public health and safety was presented.

Watch Newton speak about applying for the license and being denied before a hostile crowd of 30 to 40 people, AFTER THE JUMP...

Read more on the lawsuit here.

Read the complaint here.

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'Game of Thrones' Actor Kit Harington Hits the Gay Bar for a Fun Night Out

Kit_harington

Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington was asked by Vanity Fair about recent photos that hit the web of castmate Peter Dinklage hula-hooping in a gay bar.

“That sounds like Peter and Lena [Headley]!” Harington laughed. “That doesn’t happen often, but there’s a great gay club in Belfast that we go to sometimes called the Kremlin, which is a fun night out.”

Asked what kind of trouble the Game of Thrones cast gets into, Harington demurred. “I can never usually remember,” he said, “but it’s always fun.”

Top image from a recent Wonderland mag cover story. One more, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Cleveland Public Safety Director Responds to Outrage Over Letter Threatening Gay Bar Owner

Last night Towleroad published a letter to Brian Lyons, the owner of Cleveland's Cocktails Lounge, which has been the focus of a series of neighborhood hate crimes against both the gay bar and its patrons. The letter, from the City of Cleveland's Director of Public Safety Marty Flask, said Lyons had been calling the police too often and threatened him with further action if he continued to do so.

FlaskIt also provoked immediate outrage on social media, so much so that Flask published a response late last night on the city's website. Flask claims that the incidents he refers to in the letter are not related to the alleged hate crimes at Cocktails Lounge but are related to other disturbances. He calls his letter "bad timing" and rescinds it.

The Mayor of Cleveland has also directed Flask to set up a meeting between the police commander and the owners of Cocktails Lounge to address the issues of crime against the bar.

Flask's statement below, also posted on the city of Cleveland's website:

Statement from Marty Flask, Director of Public Safety regarding a nuisance warning letter sent to the owner of 9208 Detroit Avenue

The letter received by the owner of Cocktails on Detroit Avenue is not related to recent alleged hate crimes that are currently being investigated by the Division of Police. Rather, it is an early warning letter that the Department of Public Safety sends to property owners to help prevent a location from becoming a “nuisance property”, as identified in Chapter 630 of Cleveland’s codified ordinances. 224 such letters have already been sent to various property owners this year.

The timing of this letter was an unfortunate coincidence. If I had to do it over again, I would have handled this particular situation differently. After reviewing this issue with Mayor Jackson, he has directed me to rescind the letter and instead set up a meeting with the District Commander and the property owners so that we can work together to address the issues raised by the calls for service to 9208 Detroit Avenue. Cleveland Police responded to 9208 Detroit Avenue nine times between September 2, 2012 and September 1, 2013 for a variety of complaints, including fights, disturbances and robbery. 13 complaints were received during that time frame. None of these complaints were related to the alleged hate crimes that are currently being investigated.


13-Year-Old Arrested for Attack on Cleveland Gay Bar, Possibly its Patrons: VIDEO

Surveillance_cocktails

Last week we reported on a gay man beaten by a group of youth outside the Cocktails Lounge gay bar in Cleveland. Jared Fox was sliced by his glasses, his eardrum ruptured, and his face bloodied and bruised.

CocktailsNow, a 13-year-old boy is under arrest after the bar released surveillance video showing a large group of youths targeting the bar by throwing rocks, some the size of small canteloupes, over the fence at its patrons, FOX8 reports:

“I kicked open the gate and I ran out when I ran out all the kids scattered,” [bar patron Ric] Scardino said.
He said two kids came back and confronted him.

“The one with the white shirt had a broom in his hand and he told me what he was gonna do with; he was gonna beat me with the broom and what he was gonna do to me with the broom afterwards,” he said.
That’s when Scardino pulled out his mace.

“They thought this was a gun. They saw the black and they said the (bleep)’s got a gun and they took off running,” he said.

Police are trying to determine if the 13-year-old was involved in both incidents. However, Scardino says there have been at least three other attacks.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Stoli Struggles To Rebuild Its Relationship With The Gay Community

StoliGuy
In the wake of human rights violations taking place in Russia, many LGBT rights advocates have chosen to focus their outrage and efforts towards a boycott of Russian vodka, perhaps the most noteworthy of these being the brand Stolichnaya. Previously, protesters have dumped Stoli vodka in the streets as well as interrupted an event sponsored by Stoli in New York City. Stoli's parent company, SPI, has already spoken out against Russian anti-gay laws and expressed its support of the international and Russian LGBT communities.

Now, Stoli is attempting to go even further to quell the animosity built up within the LGBT community. Joe. My. God. recently published a press release sent by Gay Cities, which had this to say:

"In lieu of the national Stoli boycott by some in the LGBT community, GayCities has convinced SPI (Stoli's parent company) to donate $5 for each person whom RSVP's and attends The Most Original Stoli Guy Live in San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas and D.C. The participating charities include local chapters of Equality CA, Equality Texas and the HRC, all whom will be present at the events to accept the donation. GayCities is currently in discussions with SPI to select an international beneficiary that works directly in affecting change for LGBTs in Russia. The organization will be revealed live at The Most Original Stoli Guy finale, which GayCities will stream live from NYC this September."

Original Stoli GuyUnfortunately, the above statement may have been released a bit prematurely, since many of the advocacy organizations listed above are now denying any partnership with Stoli for this promotion. Joe. My. God. subsequently published these statements. First, there's Equality California:

"Equality California denies participating in this promotion and says they never even responded to the publicist who sent the above press release. "

Next comes the HRC:

"The Human Rights Campaign is not participating in The Most Original Stoli Guy events and is not accepting any donations related to these events or otherwise from Stoli. The press release indicating our participation was flat out wrong and the event organizers have unfortunately not provided any information to substantiate their claim."

Finally, we have Equality Texas:

"Equality Texas does not have any relationship with Stoli Vodka or GayCities. We do not have local chapters, and we have no involvement in the Dallas event planned for August 17th. Equality Texas would not accept donations from Stoli."

It seems as though Stoli and SPI have a lot more work to do if they wish to be in the good graces of the gay community. 


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