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Australian Pub Bars Heterosexuals

Who's tired of going out to a supposedly gay venue, only to find it full of heterosexual women - and heterosexual men sniffing around them? Who's suddenly felt self-concisous in their favourite gay venue because there's a giggling straight couple staring? Ever felt like an animal in a zoo?

The clientele of a gay bar in Melbourne, Australia clearly do: the bar won the right to ban heterosexuals from its premises. The Victorian state civil and administrative tribunal ruled the Peel Hotel could ban patrons based on their sexual orientation, and the legislation - the first of its kind in Australia - has been supported by civil liberties groups, who say that gays should be able to relax without fear of bullying and intimidation. Managers of the bar complained raucous hen nights and stag parties created a poisonous atmosphere for its gay clientele.

It's no secret that straight women find homosexual men entertaining - particularly effeminate men - but the tribunal found this attention to be dehumanising. No doubt heterosexuals will cry foul over the decision - "how would they like it if gays were banned" - but I'm not aware of any shortage of heterosexual bars and pubs: they have no place in a gay environment.

Part of the problem is the number of gay men encouraging their straight friends to frequent gay venues - not just fag hags but increasingly their supposedly open-minded straight male friends. But the majority of gay men are against the straight invasion. Are you?

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