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WY Bar Gets In Hot Water For Dissing Gay Patrons On Singles Night

A Wyoming bar  stirred up an online controversy after announcing a weekly promotion was not open to gay couples.

Earlier this month, the Outlaw Saloon in Cheyenne began inviting unattached folks to enjoy a free “ice-breaker” drink on Wednesdays if they meet someone they click with. But even before the “singles night” was announced, signs went up declaring “No same sex couples may participate in our Wednesday night promotion!!”

Understandably, local gays and right-thinking straights were outraged by the notices and took to Facebook and Yelp to gripe. As a result, the signs were taken down on Tuesday.

Manager Brandi Johanson says the signs were only there to avoid friends pretending to be gay say they met at the bar and wanted a drink. “[There is] no intention whatsoever of offending anyone or discriminating against anyone.”

On the Outlaw Bar Facebook page, management posted an apology and explanation:

“Let us be clear: we are not discriminating against the gay/lesbian/transsexual community. This promotion simply means to get single individuals to come to our bar and encourage them to mingle with each other. But the leaflet we posted outlining the event was far too vague and obscure. Consequently, it elicited a ton of public outrage in a brief period of time. The sign we posted was never designed to exclude any member of our community.

The meaning behind stating that people of the same sex were not allowed to participate is not to enable friends to come in, feign that they’re homosexual and claim that they just met so that one can buy a drink and claim a free one for the other single person. Anyone who frequents the bar should know that plenty of same-sex couples come in and enjoy the atmosphere. They’re some of our best patrons…

It has become clear we should have posted nothing at all.Please understand we are not an ignorant, hate-generating establishment. The Outlaw Saloon has no interest in alienating anybody. We honor our patrons of the gay/lesbian/transsexual community and hope to always have your business and your good company.”

What we don’t get is why the staff thought only same-sex friends would try to pull a fast one and get a free drink. Last time we checked, our hetero friends are just as big moochers as we are.

Sadly, Wyoming has no law preventing sexual-orientation discrimination in the private sector.


By:           Dan Avery
On:           Nov 2, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , ,

    • Guillermo3

      Outlaw Saloon:Lying,greedy MOTHER-FUCKERS.

      Nov 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel-Reader

      So their Wednesday night promotion is the promotion of bigotry.

      Nov 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Olive Austin
      Olive Austin

      Just change it to a “kiss your date for a drink” promotion. There, problem solved. Next?

      Nov 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GreatGatsby2011

      This reminds me of an argument I had in high school regarding marriage equality. The opposing argument was that same-sex roommates could get “married” (his air quotes, not mine) in order to defraud the government of benefits such as Social Security. When I asked him what prevented rommates of the opposite sex from doing the very same thing he responded (and I quote) “But that’s completely different. Then they’d really be married.” At this point I threw my hands in the air and walked away. You can only beat your head against a wall of ignorance for so long before you have to give up or risk serious brain injury.

      Nov 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuMaurier

      If there’s any good news here, it’s that even though putting up the signs didn’t violate any laws, they were still taken down because of public pressure.

      Nov 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ZacharyG

      well in response to the writer’s closing comment, they weren’t thinking about actual gay people abusing the promotion, i think it was more that they didn’t want a couple of straight frat brothers from walking in and claiming to be gay and just met.

      Nov 2, 2012 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott Johansen
      Scott Johansen

      “No Hispanics allowed. Sorry hispanic couples. We want to promote this as a caucasian cultural event. We DO NOT mean to offend at all.”

      Nov 3, 2012 at 6:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAW

      Hmmmm…. I started to read the story and agreed with the bar… until I got to the last comment by Queerty about opp sex couples…

      Then I thought about the 20 something straight guys and girls I know… the Guys would think nothing about saying they were gay for a free drink… but would think twice to look cheap with a girl that they might want to get into bed.

      I am hoping that the bar screwed up… Perhaps they can have a gay night on a regular basis… I went looking for bars out there and could not find any… each lead was a dead end… Do they have any Gay clubs out there??

      Nov 3, 2012 at 8:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kw

      I think sometimes you have to be prepared to take people at their word. Sure the sign was ill advised, but does it mean that they are homophobic bigots? No, not necessarily.

      If the gay community becomes this ranting snarling bunch of people who rips off the arm of anyone who dares, for whatever reason, to show us less than maximum respect, we risk alienating ourselves, in the same way as black people who claim everything is racism, even when sometimes it’s just personal dislike.

      Nov 3, 2012 at 10:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • enfilmigult

      @kw: The fact that it didn’t occur to anybody at the bar that an opposite-sex “couple” could pull the exact same scam is the homophobia. You gotta divorce yourself from the idea that homophobia has to be something a mean person sets out to do as a deliberate plot, or that anyone who does something homophobic is an evil bigot…or that if anyone says “hey, that’s homophobic,” they’re accusing the person of being such a creature.

      Sometimes it’s just thoughtlessness, like this. It happens. Being straight, sometimes this is the kind of mistake you make. It absolutely deserves a response. If the person is really interested in not being homophobic, they’ll listen, realize their mistake and fix it, like these folks did. If they’re not really interested in it—once they discover it takes some effort, and that good intentions alone don’t cut it—they’ll respond kind of like you. They’ll resist the notion that they did anything wrong, they’ll try to convince you of why what they did wasn’t really homophobic because they’re not a homophobe, and they’ll set up a strawman in which they claim they’re being accused of being the worst person in the world, instead of just a regular person who fucked up. Denial, basically. Their self-image as someone who’s not homophobic will be more important than actually not being homophobic, because that can be maintained without any pangs of guilt along the way. That’s no good.

      The idea that this sign could be borne of “personal dislike” is laughable, by the way. Don’t even know why you brought that up. And come on, what amounts to a “NO GAYS ALLOWED” sign at a drinking establishment is several levels below merely “less than maximum respect.”

      Nov 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ken

      I once walked past a restaurant in the mall. There was a podium for the hostess, and an engraved wooden sign that said, “Please wait for the hostess to be seated.” Clearly, they did not mean “No one gets served till I sit down.” It was singles night. To the person who wrote the sign, that meant single men and women hooking up with each other. They probably didn’t even think that there would be gay people at the event, and wrote the sign to say that the promotion was limited to people who hooked up, not people who came to the bar in twos.

      Benny Hill did a parody where he tried to tell an ethnic joke. He started with one ethnic group, and someone walked off the state. He tried a second ethnic group, and someone else walked off the stage in a huff. Then he said, “I’ll tell a joke about an ethnic group that doesn’t even exist so no one will be offended!” He then started to tell a joke about fairies, and the entire stage crew walked off. Let’s not be so easily offended.

      I think this sign had an unintended meaning that backfired. It never occurred to them that gay people would attend a singles mixer. It’s easy to think that gay people would prefer their own venue. (Ever hear of a gay bar, anyone?) Whichever employee made the sign probably got a dressing down. Meanwhile, the gay community should graciously accept the apology. Let’s be quick to forgive and let the homophobes be the hot heads.

      Nov 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kw

      @enfilmigult: Perhaps you’re right, but I don’t think it serves anyone to get into a hanky-flapping hissy fit about simple lack of thought. Life is full of accidentally rude assumptions – we all do it – and I am getting soooo pissed off with this mentality that someone must be punished for every transgression. It’s so damned biblical. Sometimes people just do and say dub, things, just like we all do. Does every one of these cases require a facebook campaign and a global boycott? No – sometimes a quiet phone call, or a letter is more than enough to fix it. These guys reacted positively, and fixed the matter, story closed. They don’t need their usiness or their reputation ruined for a momentary error in judgement.

      The biggest error they made, was the idea of a campaign giving away free drinks that depended upon the honour system in the first place.

      Nov 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kw

      @enfilmigult: Oh and while I think of it, if there was any prejudice, it was against heterosexual males PRETENDING to be gay, not against gay couples.

      Nov 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Reality101

      “No same sex couples may participate in our Wednsday night promotion”

      LOL can you imagine if it said “No black couples may participate in our promotion” Every single poster defending this bar above would be outraged. And every single one of them telling us to simmer down would be out there with signs protesting. Face it, we’ve become a society where ignorance toward any other demographic is shunned. Ignorance toward the gay community is brushed off, and worse, the gay community is told to accept it and deal with it. Homophobia has many mysterious ways of working. One of them is attempting to convince you that you are in the wrong for having any reaction to clear ignorance toward gays.

      Nov 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kw

      @Reality101: If there was a valid reason for saying “no black couples” like, people often put on boot black to get free drinks, then I’d be having the same reaction.

      I agree with your sentiment that homophobia can cause people to lose their sense of righteous indignation. However, the trouble with being in the trenches so long, is that many people also lose any sense of proportion, and simply overreact to everything, ending up like little yapping dogs that are disregarded because they become background noise.

      Nov 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FStratford

      The Bar was wrong

      They fixed it. They apologized and explained themselves. They did not defend their mistake. They said they learned their lesson.

      If only the gay community has it this easy….

      Let’s move on. This incident has taught many in WY a lesson – that lgbts and straight allies will no longer take overt messages like this lightly. We won this one, lets celebrate it.

      Nov 5, 2012 at 3:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kw

      @FStratford: Agree totally.

      Nov 5, 2012 at 11:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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