An attempt to crash a
straight bar in Houston on Friday night resulted in
, with would-be patrons saying the venue denied them entrance
because they are gay.
Some 100 LGBT people
arrived at the popular Union Bar in Midtown around 10 p.m. All
were participants in a Guerilla Gay Bar event, a friendly
invasion of a local straight bar designed to break down social
barriers based on sexual orientation.
Unlike other Guerrilla
Gay Bar events across the country, however, in which
participants descend on bars by surprise, organizers of the
Houston event told Union Bar about their plans in advance.
Despite assurances they would be welcomed, they say they faced
long lines and in many cases rejection at the door.
"We were made to
stand in line, and the line grew and grew," Kris Banks of the
Houston GLBT Political Caucus told
According to the bar
owner, his venue simply could not accommodate the crowd, which
exceeded the reservation of 50 people. Union Bar can hold 117
guests, and private parties also were scheduled at the same
time. The owner pledged to reach out to the local gay community
and explain the situation on Monday.
Civil rights advocates
said the incident highlights why Houston needs a law to protect
sexual orientation and gender identity in public