By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com August 31 2013 2:05 PM ET
The owner of a Portland, Ore., bar will have to pay $400,000 in damages to transgender customer who were turned away from service at his establishment.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ordered The P Club owner Christopher Penner to pay up after violating state law prohibiting discrimination against people on the basis of gender identity, as well as sexual orientation, according to KATU News. The state says that Penner told a woman named Cassandra that she and her transgender friends, who form The Rose City T Girls, must "not come back on Friday nights." This was after the group was told by another bar that they were not welcome more than once per month, according to The Oregonian.
In a voicemail to Cassandra, Penner claimed he was losing money because people thought The P Club — now known as The Twilight Room Annex — was a "tranny bar" or a "gay bar." After the state's investigation, the Bureau said Penner could not use that as a defense.
The $400,000 in damages will be disbursed among the group of 11 people, in addition to $5,000 in civil penalties.
"He's not anti-LGBT. He doesn't want to be a poster child for somebody who is going to oppose all races, genders, etc. from coming into places of public accommodation," his attorney, Jonathan Radmacher said to KATU.