Government lovers and practitioners of identity politics are eating their own according to Scott Shackford at Reason:
What happened last summer is that a gay man named Vito Marzano, dressed in drag from a fundraiser elsewhere, wanted to enter the Wrangler. He was denied entry. The bar claims it wasn’t because he was cross-dressing but because his image didn’t match his driver’s license. The bar had been previously cited for serving somebody underage and were now being extra cautious. For those not in the know, gay bars have a history of being targets of scrutiny by authorities looking for excuses to raid them and shut them down.
This is an important point. Arbitrary and overzealous enforcement has been a common tactic for government agents to harass certain minority populations, like gay communities. Allowing in customers who do not match their ID is a sure fire way to invite such government harassment.
Equally disturbing is the logic used by the government to determine that there was “discrimination.” The bar, it seems, dares to cater to the interests of a particular subset of the gay community known as “bears,” or burly masculine men who prefer other burly masculine men.
The state’s report notes that the bar has a dress code forbidding high-heeled shoes, wigs or appearance-altering make-up or strong perfumes. While the report states there’s nothing wrong with the dress code itself, it has determined that the bar uses this code as an excuse to exclude overly feminine women or transgender people. The Wrangler is a “bear” bar, whose target demographic is the burlier of the gay men. What’s alarming about the ruling is that it seems to act as though catering to a particular demographic is in fact evidence of a likelihood of discriminating against others:
“[T]he Respondent caters to a gay subculture known as “Bears,” which are bisexual or gay males which tend to place importance on presenting a hypermasculine image andoften shun interaction with men who exhibit effeminacy. This is evident from the pictures and statements made by employees regarding the “Bear” culture of the club and several links on the Respondent’s webpage referencing “Bear” clubs … .”
Emphasis added by me because WT-bloody-F? You know what gay people love? Having the government tell them how their various subcultures work and think on the basis of talking to a bunch of people at a bar and looking at pictures. The preference for dating or friendship with certain types of people is not the same as “shunning” other types of people. And to the extent that there are social rifts between various parts of the gay demographic, nobody should want the state government policing how they should be interacting with each other.
In a truly free and diverse society, outlets meeting niche needs would be welcomed along side those serving a more general population. But in a world of degenerative Progressivism, words such as “diversity” and “discrimination” have been twisted to the point of almost meaning their literal opposites. Diversity now requires universal sameness – all locations must serve the same clients in the same way. Discrimination now refers to any perceived negative action against a special identity group – such as the enforcement of ID requirements – even as the same action is routinely used against non-protected classes without fuss, making anti-discrimination efforts inherently discriminatory.
Shackford ends with the most important point:
This case is a good demonstration as to why it’s so important to hold a hard line on the right to freedom of association. The Wrangler should have the right to pursue whatever customer demographic it wants for its bar. And if the community finds it significantly discriminatory, they can use social pressures to push for change (as Marzano has apparently done with a call for a boycott).
Freedom, not central government control and more power for bureaucrats, is the answer.