A hotel bar owner in Australia whose clientele comprises mainly homosexual men has won the right to bar heterosexuals and lesbians from his premises in a historic ruling.
A Melbourne tribunal adjudged in Tom McFeely's favour after he argued that rowdy women posed a physical threat to gay patrons at the Peel Hotel in Collingwood
In its written decision, the Victoria tribunal said: "Sometimes heterosexual groups and lesbian groups insult and deride and are even physically violent towards the gay male patrons. In doing these things, they use sexually-based insults.
"Sometimes, groups seek to use the venue for parties and it is clear from Mr McFeely's affidavit that these groups wish to look at the behaviour of the gay male patrons as a kind of spectacle or entertainment for the group's enjoyment."
The tribunal accepted that there were plenty of other bars where lesbians and heterosexuals could gather to express "affection or physical intimacy".
Its decision to allow the hotel to ban non-gay males comes two years after a ruling that overrode anti-discrimination laws by allowing an Australian gym chain to admit women only.
By Daniel Thomas