Round-Up Saloon patron accuses club of anti-Hispanic discrimination

Posted on 01 Feb 2013 at 3:19pm

A Round-Up Saloon patron says he fears the bar is discriminating against Hispanic clubgoers who have permanent resident visas, but management says it accepts them.

Eddie Munoz said he and a friend visiting from out of town went to the Round-Up on Tuesday night after the Lady Gaga concert. Gaga was expected to appear at the club after her Dallas performance.

But when Munoz’s friend presented his permanent resident visa — commonly called a “green card” — the doorman told him that management had changed the policy to no longer accept them as valid IDs. When Munoz and his friend asked to speak to a manager, Munoz said they were rudely told to wait outside.

“It was a perfectly legitimate ID. We never had issues before,” Munoz said. “I was infuriated.”

While waiting, Munoz said he saw a group of women who looked Hispanic being turned away with their IDs in their hands.

Munoz ended up texting a friend already inside the club to seek out a manager to address the issue. His friend spoke to a manager who then approved the ID and let them in.

But Munoz said his friend, who is from Mexico but lives in South Texas, had been admitted to the club last Saturday and Sunday using the same ID, so he wanted to know why the policy had suddenly changed, but he said they were never given an answer Tuesday night.

Round-Up co-owner Alan Piece told Instant Tea a doorman did say he asked the men to wait outside while he called for a manager because he’d never seen a green card before. The manager then told the doorman to let them use the ID.

Pierce said the club has accepted green cards as a form of ID in the past, as long as they are not expired and contain photos and dates of birth, but few people use them as IDs for entry. Pierce said there hasn’t been a policy change, though the allegation of discrimination may prompt him to create a policy.

“We don’t have any problem with Latinos in our club. It’s not about race, I can promise you that,” Pierce said. “This whole thing has gotten a little bit blown out of proportion. …We’ll make sure with all of our employees in the future that everybody is updated.”

Raul Hinojosa Jr., president of the gay Dallas LULAC chapter, #4871, said he wasn’t aware of gay clubs that won’t accept green cards as ID. Hinojosa added that if bouncers haven’t seen them before, they may not know what they are, which is what Pierce said happened Tuesday.

Carolyn Beck, spokeswoman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, said under Texas law, bars can accept any state or federal ID with a photo and physical description. But she added that bars are also permitted to have stricter rules for acceptable IDs.

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