A North Portland bar owner is facing a $400,000 fine for discriminating against a transgender woman's group.
The Bureau of Labor and Industries handed down the fine yesterday to Chris Penner, the owner of the bar formerly known as the "P Club."
Last summer, one woman said they received a voicemail from Penner, who said they were not allowed to return because he didn't want people to think he ran a "tranny bar." In the voicemail, Penner claimed the group was hurting business.
"People think that A.) we're a tranny bar, or B.) that we're a gay bar. We are neither. People are not coming in because they just don't want to be here on a Friday night now," he said.
Under Oregon law, Oregonians may not be denied full and equal service based on sexual orientation. The law provides an exemption for religious organizations and schools, but does not allow private business owners to discriminate based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot legally deny service based on race, sex, age, disability or religion.
The fine is the first imposed under the 2007 Oregon Equality Act.
Since 2007, Oregonians have filed 11 complaints of unlawful discrimination in public places.
In addition to the massive fine, Penner also has to pay a $5,000 civil penalty.
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