HOMONORMATIVE

Chicago Gay Bars Ban Women At Busiest Times. Illegal? Yes. But Is It Just Practical?

Gay men love their booze and their tiny packed spaces. So what happens when too many ladies try to squeeze into our watering holes?

Apparently at Wang’s, a gay bar in Chicago‘s Boystown gayborhood, the posted policy has been to ban women after 11pm, when shit gets real busy. Now Wang’s and a number of other Boystown bars with similar policies are facing an investigation by the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Reports the Huffington Post:

Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney, whose 44th Ward encapsulates the Boystown commercial district, reached out to the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) after The Huffington Post informed him of the policy.

“Businesses within our neighborhood should be accommodating and respectful towards all patrons,” Tunney said in a statement.

Beyond being disappointing to women who want to drink at the bar, such a policy is illegal. Mike Claffey, a spokesman for the IDHR, confirmed that the state Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of one’s sex or other protected categories in places of public accommodation—including bars. The IDHR is looking into the matter.

Clearly, this is a special case, though—women are being banned because it’s a bar that specifically caters to gay men, ones who are looking to hook up and find partners in the later hours, not because women are meant to stay home and cook and clean and never go to any bars ever.

So, how do we keep the Carrie Bradshaws of the world from taking over our bars without breaking the law or being unethical? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.

Photo via Huffington Post