SYDNEY Ã¢â‚¬â€ An Australian restaurant that refused a blind man entry because a waiter thought his seeing-eye dog was “gay” has been ordered to apologize and pay compensation.
Ian Jolly was told he could not take guide dog Nudge into Adelaide’s Thai Spice last May because a member of staff objected, The Sunday Mail reported.
The restaurant’s owners said a misunderstanding had arisen between Jolly’s female companion and a waiter who understood the woman “to be saying she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant”.
“The staff genuinely believed that Nudge was an ordinary pet dog which had been de-sexed to become a gay dog,” the owners said in a statement to South Australia’s Equal Opportunity Tribunal.
The tribunal on Friday ordered the restaurant to pay Jolly 1,500 dollars (1,400 US) and offer him a written apology for discriminating against him on the grounds of disability.
The restaurant, which displays a “guide dogs welcome” sign, refused to comment to the newspaper and was unavailable to respond on Sunday.
Jolly told the Sunday Mail he was happy with the result.
“I just want to be like everybody else and be able to go out for dinner, to be left alone and just enjoy a meal,” he said.