Hollywood bar denies entry to anti-gay lawmakers from two US states
McClatchy-Tribune in Los Angeles
If you're a legislator from the US states of Arizona or Kansas, there's a good chance you're banned from one popular gay bar in West Hollywood, California.
The Abbey Food and Bar this week banned "every legislator in any state that votes for bills to allow for discrimination against LGBT people", adding the lawmakers to a Deny Entry List.
Proposed laws in the two states that would have allowed business owners to shun gay people have been killed.
Security guards at the bar have headshots of dozens of banned lawmakers, most of them from Arizona and Kansas, at the door.
"It's not like they'd come here anyway," general manager Todd Barnes said. "But the ban is to give them a taste of what it's like to be kicked out of a business."
He said staff had been inundated with hateful calls and messages since The Abbey announced the ban this week.
"They're trying to say we're being bigots and we're the ones discriminating," he said. "But it's about sending a message that those people who vote against gays and lesbians can be treated in the same sense."
The list of banned politicians is sure to grow, Barnes said.
The ban was the brainchild of David Cooley, founder of the bar on the west side of Los Angeles.
"I've learned that I can't stop crazy, ignorant or stupid, but I can stop it from coming through my doors," Cooley said.