‘This is a country western bar, not a gay bar’

Three women say they were kicked out of a bar in Victoria, Texas, because of their sexual orientation. The women claim an employee asked them to leave the Cactus Canyon on Aug. 24 and told them, “This is a country western bar, not a gay bar.” The Victoria Advocate reports:

“I got kicked out of Cactus for no reason,” Victoria resident Estefana Diaz said. “We were holding hands — that’s it.”

One of Cactus Canyon’s owners, Roger Gearheart, of Odessa, denied the women were asked to leave because of their sexual orientation.

“Those people weren’t kicked out because they’re gay. They acted inappropriately to each other,” Gearheart said. “We don’t discriminate.”

He also said he wanted to be clear his bar does not discriminate and the women could return as long as their behavior is appropriate.

Gearheart was not in the bar at the time, but stands behind his employee’s decision that the women’s behavior was not in good taste.

“No one wants to see that whether you’re gay or straight” he said.

When the women called police to file a complaint they were told the bar has the right to refuse service. There is no state or federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations. The women say they may boycott the Cactus Canyon.

—  John Wright