A Providence, Rhode Island gay nightclub owner took to social media on Friday upset that the Buttigieg campaign had cancelled a fundraiser headlined by Pete’s husband Chasten because the club refused to remove a pole used by its dancers.
Wrote The Dark Lady on Facebook: “Pete Buttigieg’s husband just canceled his appearance / fundraiser tonight at the Dark Lady because the “gay bar has a dancer pole!” Sorry this event is no longer happening this evening. We guess this is what the gay candidate does to the gay community!
#downonthepoles #dancersforanyoneelse We’re open, we’re here, we’re queer, get over it!”
WPRI reports: “The event had been widely promoted on social media, including by City Council President Sabina Matos. … Buck Asprinio, the general manager of the Dark Lady, said members of the campaign who arrived at the venue ahead of the event said they asked staff members to remove the ‘dancing pole’ in the middle of the club. They refused to do so. A spokesperson for the Buttigieg campaign did not deny the Dark Lady’s version of events, but declined to provide a reason for the relocation.”
The event was reportedly moved at the last minute to the Hotel Providence.
Said Asprinio of the pole: “It’s been here since we opened and it’s not going anywhere. The dancer pole is part of who we are ─ if you want to dance on a pole, we’re the place to be.”
Buttigieg Deputy Press Secretary Tess Whittlesey released a statement: “Our commitment to LGBTQ+ spaces is strong and we always strive to hold events in inclusive spaces. Pete and Chasten know first-hand how important it is for members of the LGBTQ+ community to have a safe space to gather and our campaign would never do anything to intentionally disrespect such a space.”