Society

Gay Couple Thrown Out of Texas Club For Dancing

| by Allison Geller

A same-sex couple was thrown out of a country bar in Victoria, Texas, for dancing together.

"It's not acceptable for men to dance together in the type of business that we run," Cactus Canyon spokesperson Roger Gearhart told KAVU, after saying that women dancing together is acceptable.

Justin Meyer and James Douglas complained of the club's discriminatory policies after the couple went out for a night of dancing Saturday.

The owner confronted them and told them they couldn't dance together because they were men and for "security reasons."

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"He told me they have a policy that states that they don't allow males to dance with males to country songs," Douglas said. "I said just country, and he said yes."

The couple closed their tab and left the venue. But Meyer wanted to see where the rule was written on the club's policy.

"I said will you please show me your policy but he kept brushing it under the table," Meyer added.

The couple doesn't understand the club's policy of allowing women to dance with each other, but not men. The incident is a clear case of discrimination, they say.

"Why should we feel like we are afraid to go out in public just because of the way we were born?" Douglas said.

Robert Dillender, director of operations for Cactus Canyon, said the couple was being disruptive and confrontational, which is why they were asked to leave.

"We've never kicked anyone out of the club for dancing," Dillender said.

Dillender said Meyer raised his voice and poked the manager in the chest after he denied showing Meyer the club's policy. Meyer said he did not touch the manager.

"We apologize for the misunderstanding," Dillender said.

Meyer said he has been a Cactus Canyon patron for 12 years, since he was 18.

"I'm just kind of shocked," Meyer said. "They know my face, I've been here hundreds of times, and it was just really hurtful that we couldn't dance together." 

Lawyer Geep Hardy said the policy was probably legal, though discriminatory.

"There is very little nondiscrimination law that prevents discrimination against sexual orientation," Hardy said.

Tom Hargis of the Texas ACLU said they would investigate the incident further.

"We encourage all people to stand up for their individual rights," Hargis said.

Meanwhile, another local country bar, the Two-Step Nightclub and Lounge, let Meyer and Douglas know that they are welcome to show off their moves there.

Sources: KAVU, Huffington Post