Texas bar bans gay men over ‘safety risk’ for dancing to country music instead of hip-hop

By David Edwards
Thursday, December 26, 2013 11:49 EDT
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Justin Meyer and James Douglas (Victoria Advocate/screen grab)
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is backing two Texas men who say that they were recently kicked out of a South Texas night club for dancing to country music instead of hip-hop or rap.

Justin Meyer, 21, explained to the Victoria Advocate that management at Cactus Canyon told them on Saturday night that there was a policy against men dancing together to country music.

However, Meyer said that he later discover that the club had no such policy.

“I don’t like that we were lied to,” he remarked. “The confrontation never would have happened if they hadn’t lied about the policy.”

Meyer’s boyfriend, 30-year-old James Douglas, said that the couple was finishing a dance to the song “Cowboys and Angels” on Saturday night when they were told that they were violating club policy and posed a safety risk.

“Why is it not OK for me to dance with my boyfriend when there are girls here who dance together all the time?” Douglas recalled asking.

According to Douglas, the manager said that he would be allowed to dance with his boyfriend during hip-hop and rap songs — but country songs were off limits for gay men.

“So you’re telling me it’s OK for me to bump and grind on my boyfriend to the song ‘Bubble Butt,’ but we can’t dance a two-step?” Douglas said he asked the manager.

Cactus Canyon Director of Operations Robert Dillender insisted to the Victoria Advocate that the couple had been told to leave because they were being disruptive. Dillender confirmed that there was no policy against gay men dancing to country music.

“We’ve never kicked anyone out of the club for dancing,” Dillender noted. “Our obligation to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is to maintain the peace.”

Dillender claimed that one of the men poked the manager in the chest and demanded to see the club policy during a parking lot confrontation. The men were told that the police would be called if they tried to return to the bar. Meyers maintained that the manager was never poked.

American Civil Liberties Union of Texas Director Tom Hargis said he planned to reach out to the couple after learning about the incident.

“We encourage all people to stand up for their individual rights,” Hargis advised.

Watch this video from KAVU and The Victoria Advocate.

(h/t: Miami Herald)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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