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May 29, 2007

Banning Heteros From The Pub

Of course, the landlord of a private property should be allowed to welcome or ban anyone or group as they wish.

The owner of a pub whose clientele comprises mainly homosexual men has won the right to bar heterosexuals and lesbians from his premises.

My only question is, how does one tell who are heterosexual men and who homosexual? It's not something that is branded onto the forehead after all, is it? In fact, as many like Matthew Parris and Peter Tatchell would argue, there's not really a strict dividing line either. Does homosexual mean a male who only ever has sex with other men, usually does so, sometimes does so but often with women?

Or is there some sort of test that has to be passed, some interaction with the doorman before entry is allowed?

May 29, 2007 in Sex | Permalink

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Comments

In the paper I read it said that they were sick and tired of hen-parties coming in to laugh at them, I guess they are fairly easy to spot.

Posted by: Mark Wadsworth | May 29, 2007 10:17:27 AM

I don't agree that owners should be able to discriminate on the grounds of sexuality.

If they don't like particular clientele then they should ban them on their actions - blanket bans are wrong.

In this particular bar - respectful heterosexuals and lesbians are going to be punished for other's actions just because they belong to the same sexuality - it is wrong.

Posted by: Neil Harding | May 29, 2007 10:36:43 AM

So if it is OK to ban on sexuality. How about race or religion?

Posted by: Kit | May 29, 2007 12:04:12 PM

Suppose - as seems quite likely - gay men are usually safer frequenting a pub reserved for them?

The main objections, surely, are practical. While the gender of those in the pub could be considered fairly explicit - how is the landlord placed know whether any of the clientele are imposters regarding their true sexual preferences?

Posted by: Bob B | May 29, 2007 12:16:27 PM

My God!! for the first time ever I agree with Neil Harding.

Posted by: Peter Spence | May 29, 2007 1:28:34 PM

My only question is, how does one tell who are heterosexual men and who homosexual?

The main aim of the exclusion is to stop bus-loads of footballers and bus loads of girls who thought it quaint to visit a gay pub. The presence of such large groups turned the pub into a zoo, and obviously changed the experience for the gay people there. The publican seems to be a decent guy and the ban reasonable.

Posted by: aussie | May 29, 2007 2:53:33 PM

Sounds reasonable, Aussie, but why ban lesbians, too? Are bus loads of ladies with serious shoes spoiling the gay experience? No, don't answer....

Judith

Visit Zenobia's new blog at Empress of the East

Posted by: judith@judithweingarten.com judith | May 29, 2007 3:38:11 PM

"My God!! for the first time ever I agree with Neil Harding."

Me too. Surely one of the signs of the impending Apocalypse...

Posted by: JuliaM | May 29, 2007 8:51:56 PM

Personally I think this is wonderful. Now it's case law, I can't wait to see it being used to challenge enforced acceptance of other groups or lifestyles.
The prospect of seeing pc-lefties squirming as they are hoist on their own petards is just too delicious to imagine.

By the way, Tim, as to your question of "how do they tell". Perhaps we are about to see definitive proof of this gaydar thing. I can just imagine the scene in the court (for it is bound to end up there) when Cedric the Doorman is asked to demonstrate his gift on random subjects in the courtroom. It could prove most entertaining.

Posted by: The Remittance Man | May 29, 2007 9:41:37 PM

The landlord has won his case. Meanwhile the owner of Scruff Murphys in Sydney is still in court being sued by Islander and Muslim groups after he banned them both to "reduce crime in his pub".

Interesting times...

Posted by: pommygranate | May 30, 2007 3:10:42 AM

Of course, there is one straight forward way of checking on whether the clientele in a pub for gays only are eligible to be there and that's by looking to see whether they are identified as gays in the planned official NHS database:

"An NHS database holding intimate information about the sexual behaviour of thousands of gay men is being planned by health trusts as part of a drive to encourage safer sex, a charity disclosed today."
http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/news/0,,2086174,00.html

Very likely, personal sexual preferences will be logged along with the biometrics on personal ID cards in due course or gays will be obliged to always wear identifying markers like the inverted pink triangles in Nazi Germany. The Third Way has a fascist provenance, as we know, so what's new?

Posted by: Bob B | May 30, 2007 7:46:32 AM

What usually happens is that the doorman will insist that you kiss somebody in the queue if he thinks that you're a ringer. They've been doing this in Canal Street in Manchester (which also wanted to cut down on the number of non-gay tourists) for a while.

Of course, this is all proof that Tim and Bob B are exactly right that the UK is basically the same place as Nazi Germany and there are no meaningful differences between Tony Blair and Hitler, I wouldn't want to suggest otherwise than that. But if you're interested in the gay doorman detector thing, then that's what they do.

Posted by: dsquared | May 30, 2007 8:24:32 AM

Hitler was a more cultured chap than Blair, dsquared.

Posted by: dearieme | May 30, 2007 8:37:04 AM

"...if you're interested in the gay doorman detector thing, then that's what they do."

Then that's spectacularly pointless as a true test, isn't it? Unless you believe that any actor who has kissed another actor of the same sex on screen is therefore now to be classed as gay.

Posted by: JuliaM | May 30, 2007 8:52:02 AM

It's not spectacularly pointless; it confirms that someone is either a) gay or b) prepared to kiss another man on the mouth in order to pretend to be gay in order to get into a nightclub. This cuts out the group of heterosexual men who just want to go into a gay bar to gawp and laugh at the gays, which is the point of the exercise. Gay clubs don't really care about letting in a reasonable number of gay-friendly straights who know how to behave themselves, which is why they don't really care that they don't have a superduper 100% reliable gay detector test. This is just one of the myriad of ways in which the proprietors of gay nightclubs differ from Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: dsquared | May 30, 2007 10:52:19 AM

It has been known for larger clubs to filter people by asking about your musical preferences on the way in. I guess it keeps some of the trouble out, at the very least ensuring you're in a fit state to speak. Helpfully, they'll even direct you to a suitable room to match your tastes.

...of course, Bob B is quite right - if you answer incorrectly they'll direct you to the salt mine in the basement and you'll never be seen again, because that's what happens in Blair's Britain.

Posted by: Neil | May 30, 2007 11:03:04 AM

Just a mo . . we're being led astray about checking gay credentials.

Famously and very publicly, professional footballers hug and kiss to celebrate a passing triumph in a game. Continentals, especially east Europeans, often hug and kiss on emotional reunions and departures - I know because that has happened to me.

As for the fascist provenance of the Third Way, I was at first amazed to read such a claim online back in 1998 when Tony Blair's Fabian Society pamphlet surfaced. The connection suggested then was not Hitler but Mussolini, about whom I knew little so I thought to check.

The second book I picked up was Martin Clark on: Modern Italy 1871-1995 (Longman 2nd ed. (1996)), p.250, where he writes about the policies of Mussolini's fascist government : "They seemed to offer 'a third way', between capitalism and Bolshevism, which looked attractive in the Depression. . ."

As the book, by an academic historian at Edinburgh University, in its second edition, was published before the 1997 election which brought Blair to power, it can't be said that the Mussolini connection was merely a retrospective attempt by the author to malign Blair. And what of all those academic gurus on the Third Way? They would have surely checked on the provenance, wouldn't they? After all, Blair wasn't obliged to dub his vision of the future as "the Third Way" so I thought I'd dig some more and a lot fitted - all that "strong leader" stuff, The Economist saying how much Blair liked dealing with the military, the wars, the obsessions with internal security issues, the disregard for all those long-entrenched rights derived from Magna Carta, the fixation with databases . .

Posted by: Bob B | May 30, 2007 11:49:16 AM

"Just a mo . . we're being led astray about checking gay credentials."

That was what Tim's post was about, wasn't it?

Tim adds: Well, about having a mild snigger about how one would check, yes.

Posted by: Neil | May 30, 2007 12:25:39 PM

"...This cuts out the group of heterosexual men who just want to go into a gay bar to gawp and laugh at the gays"

Because they are liquored up and prepared to do this, but will then baulk at a bit of playacting to get in to do it...? Pull the other one!

"It has been known for larger clubs to filter people by asking about your musical preferences on the way in."

'Fan of Donna Summer & Kylie? No? You're not coming in!'

Posted by: JuliaM | May 30, 2007 12:45:34 PM

[Because they are liquored up and prepared to do this, but will then baulk at a bit of playacting to get in to do it...? Pull the other one!]

Without wanting to be a dick here, facts trump theories. Nightclubs do actually do this and it does actually work.

Posted by: dsquared | May 30, 2007 6:04:57 PM