Portland bar accused of sexual orientation discrimination - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland bar accused of sexual orientation discrimination

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A Portland club owner is accused of asking a group of customers to stay away because they're gay.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has filed a formal complaint against the P Club, 5264 N. Lombard St.

Bar owner Chris Penner is accused of calling at least one regular patron and leaving voice messages asking the customer and the customer's group of friends to stay away on Friday nights.

The BOLI commissioner alleges the owner did it because he feared the group's presence might make people think it's a "gay bar."

Penner says while he wont speak to the details of the BOLI claim for legal reasons, he argues the very grounds their based on is downright, wrong.

"To have someone come out and say were an anti-gay establishment confuses myself, and it confuses my staff," said Bar Owner Chris Penner.

"We kick people out of this bar who come in here and who are racist and, or homophobic. They are the ones not allowed in."

Penner says over the years he has held many gay pride events at his club and has even opened his doors to same sex wedding receptions.

Penner says he plans to fight the allegations that threat to prosecute him, and in the meantime he says,  if people still don't believe him, the proof is in his staff.

"My bar manager has been with me for six years and she's a lesbian, my kitchen manager has been here for two years and is a lesbian, and the new guy running my comedy night is gay," said Penner.

An investigator from BOLI's civil rights division will now determine if there is enough evidence the law was violated.

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