Florida Strip Club in Lawsuit Over Refusing Entry to Single Women
Strip clubs are sexist, so I don’t know why any woman, single or married, would want to attend one – but putting that aside – I am not fine with businesses who discriminate against single adults.
I have a few more examples on my blog of restaurants, parks, and other venues that harass single adults for showing up single. It’s not okay to do this.
(Link): Florida strip club in lawsuit over refusing entry to single women – most of this article is behind a pay wall
(Link): Women denied entry at Rachel’s strip club will take case to state Supreme Court — again – behind a pay wall
(Link): Two women were told they couldn’t enter a strip club without a man, sparking a constitutional battle in Florida – behind a pay wall (Washington Post)
About a different incident (also mentions the club in Florida):
By Sandra Esquivel and Myriam Masihy
Published May 7, 2018
Heather Cox and her wife, Sonia Otalvaro, wanted a fun night out when they went to Dean’s Club in North Miami Beach. But they say they never got past the front door.
“We said, ‘Yeah, we want to come in,’ and they said, ‘You can’t,’ and I was very confused by that answer,” recounted Cox. “So I asked again, ‘What do you mean we can’t? You have to be accompanied by a man’ they said.”
The couple, who was visiting from San Francisco, says they called an attorney to sue the club for violating Miami Dade County code that prohibits discrimination based on “gender or sexual orientation.”
“It’s blatant discrimination. I can’t get into the club because I’m not with a man. What?” said Cox.
According to the lawsuit, Dean’s said, “It is a company policy not to allow unescorted ladies in our club without first seeking management approval.”
“They were targeting a specific part of the population and you can’t. They were targeting unaccompanied women,” said Matthew Dietz, the attorney Cox and Otalvaro hired.
Dean’s Club says they do not discriminate and that they have the obligation to screen visitors to protect the business and their customers.
“What happens here is that because it is a gentleman’s club there are concerns that it may attract people such as prostitutes or women who are upset looking for their husbands or their boyfriends. And there have been incidents,” said Eduardo Rasco, the attorney for Dean’s Gold.
Rachel’s, an adult club in Orlando, seems to share the same concerns. Two women shot video of a club manager explaining why they were not allowed in.
On the video the manager tells them, “We don’t let females in by themselves because we don’t know if you’re looking for your husbands or boyfriends. We don’t want a domestic situation, all right. That’s why we’re not going to allow you in here by yourselves.”
Anita Yanes and Britney Smith, who recorded the video, filed a lawsuit against Rachel’s. They are also represented by Dietz.
“I felt embarrassed. I mean it never happened to me before,” said Yanes.
Smith says she’s actually been allowed in the club before with a male friend and this was the first time she was denied.
“I was completely embarrassed and felt humiliated,” said Smith.
Rachel’s did not want to talk on camera about their policy but a manager defended the practice saying that it’s common among clubs in the area.
An online search shows similar complaints including a woman who sued a club in Los Angeles when she wasn’t allowed in. It ended in a settlement.
As for Dean’s, Rasco tells us they have now “revamped the ways they filter out undesirables.”
Two female producers for NBC 6 went to Dean’s Club to see if that was the case. Both were allowed into Dean’s and four other strip clubs in South Florida with no problems.
That’s what the four women who are suing say they want to see at gentlemen’s clubs everywhere and hope their lawsuits are part of that change.
“I hope this will shine a light on other establishments that are doing the same things,” said Smith.
Back to the club in Florida:
by S. Teller
Two women, Anita Yanes and Brittney Smith, sued in April 2018 under a human rights ordinance in Orange County, Florida, after they were not allowed to enter Rachel’s strip club in Orlando in February 2018 unless they were accompanied by a man. However, Judge Keith Carsten of Orange County concluded Florida’s Civil Rights Act of 1992 preempted the local ordinance and dismissed the suit.
According to court records, “The friends made plans for a girl’s night out at the adult establishment near the Orlando International Airport that describes itself as a ‘World Class Gentlemen’s Club & Steakhouse.’ A manager reportedly said the rule discouraged prostitution, helped keep club visitors’ focus on the strippers, and avoided situations in which women would come in looking for their husbands and cause drama.’”
…Matthew Dietz, an attorney for the nonprofit Disability Independence Group in Miami, is representing the plaintiffs, arguing, “state and federal anti-discrimination laws create minimum protections, and local jurisdictions can provide additional protection.” He said, “This baseless exclusion is the exact type of discrimination the ordinance was designed to eradicate.”
by E. Brown
Rachel’s Gentlemen’s Club—a strip club in Orange County, Florida—bans female patrons unless they’re accompanied by men. It’s something of a common practice at U.S. strip clubs. But is it illegal? A recent lawsuit argues yes.
The suit was brought by Brittney Smith and Anita Yanes. The two women tried to visit Rachel’s Orlando in 2018 and were denied entry because they didn’t have any men with them.
They argue that this policy violates Orange County’s human rights law, which bans discrimination in public places “on the basis of that individual’s age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, or sexual orientation.” Florida’s statewide civil rights statute bans sex discrimination but not discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
“The pivotal issue is whether local laws prohibiting discrimination supersede state laws that don’t,” notes the Orlando Sentinel editorial board.
The paper is pushing the case as a boon for LGBTQ rights, though neither woman bringing the lawsuit identifies as gay, bi, or trans. “Even though Smith and Yanes aren’t LGBTQ, citing the county’s ordinance essentially puts that local law on trial,” it says. “Not just in Orange County, but in about 50 other municipalities with ordinances that provide more LGBTQ protections than the state sees fit.”
But Rachel’s wasn’t denying Smith and Yanes entry because of the women’s sexual orientation but because of their sex. Rachel’s policy might be bad business, discriminatory against women, or based on outdated and heteronormative thinking. But how can it be discriminating against gay people by applying its policy evenly to heterosexual and homosexual women?
A Florida judge initially dismissed the lawsuit, but an appeals court overturned the ruling on a technicality.
“Orange County was not a defendant,” and “state law requires counties to be brought in as parties when ordinances are challenged,” the Sentinel explains. “Because of that, the [state] Supreme Court declined to hear the case last week. Orange County has been added as a defendant, and the case is moving forward.”
(Link): Why Is It So Difficult To Believe Single Men Can Have Paternal Instincts Too? by A. Mahdawi