Gay patrons removed from bar; owner claims wasn't discrimination - WNEM TV 5

Gay patrons removed from bar; owner claims wasn't discrimination

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

A group of gay men claim they were kicked out of a local bar, but the owner of the establishment said that’s the furthest from the truth.

The group claims it was their appearance that caused the situation, while the owner insists it was their behavior that was the issue.

Nathoniel Robinson said the owner wouldn’t give them a reason why they had to leave. He believes it was because both he and Nathaniel Bennett are gay and have a self-described "unique" appearance.

“So he signals over to his security guard, his security guard comes up and he's like 'What's going on?' He's like ‘I don't serve his kind here.’ And I was like ‘What is our kind’ and he's like 'Fa****s, f-ing, fa****s' and I was like, ‘Oh,’" Robinson said.

Pete Schuster, the owner of O’Hare’s Bar, doesn’t deny the two were asked to leave, but gave a different reason why.

In a statement sent to TV5 Schuster said:

We value all patrons and welcome everyone from all walks of life and all orientations. What happened in this incident was unfortunate and the result of one individual acting inappropriately. This individual was politely asked to leave based solely upon his actions and not in any way based upon his race, gender, or personal identification. We respect all of our patrons and want everyone to feel safe, welcome, and comfortable while they are our guests. Unfortunately, from time to time individuals will act in a manner that is not conducive to the enjoyment of our establishment by others. When that happens it is our right and our policy to politely ask them to either act appropriately or to leave. While this individual is trying to portray the events of the other evening as something other than what really happened, we steadfastly remain committed to welcoming patrons as well as employees from all walks of life and all orientations to come be our guest and enjoy our hospitality in an appropriate and reasonable manner any day of the week.

Bennett alleges their experience at O’Hares was anything but respectful.

“We just don’t understand why, and he’s like ‘You don’t need to understand why, you just need to go’ and it just got really out of hand,” Bennett said.

Both Robinson and Bennett said they aren’t looking for revenge, but they want people to know they think O'Hare's may not be a place that welcomes all.

“We're not here to make a big commotion or make a big ruckus, but when somebody attacks you on a inhumane level it lingers and it does not feel good,” Bennett said.

TV5 asked the owner what the group was doing that was inappropriate. He wouldn't go into detail, but all he would say was "it was their behavior."

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