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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Gays want gay-only clubs in Britain

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Author Topic: Gays want gay-only clubs in Britain
Dzuunmod
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This sort of ties in with the topic that Lemming posted recently, but they aren't quite the same, so I thought I'd give it its own topic.

Here's a story from England about gays in Brighton (the country's self-proclaimed gay capital) who want their own clubs. That's to say, they don't want straight women coming in and gawking.

I don't like this idea. I don't know how it could be enforced while also getting around discrimination laws (assuming there are laws in Britain that protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation).

On the other hand, if women can frequently have women-only spaces, I don't see why gays (and more specifically gay men) couldn't do the same.

Any thoughts?

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Confused boy
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Well discrimination laws are not so strong as across the pond because there was never a massive amount of institutional discrimination by the time it was considered unnacceptable. There have been some clubs that are male only and this was not considered sexist since women are allowed to form their own clubs as well. They have come under criticism recently. This means that they could get round the problem by simply saying that this a men only club, it is doubtful that straight men are going to infiltrate the club so there is no need to be as specific as a "gay men only" club.

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Dzuunmod
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The only problem with something like this is that with new clubs like these, we run the risk of returning to times that only people of a certain age (in Europe and North America) remember, where, say, there's one half of a bar for women, and the other half is for men.

In my hometown, there's a bar that has two entrances, with a sign over one of them that says 'gentlemen' and a sign over the other that says 'ladies and escorts'. Now, those signs don't mean anything today (though I imagine they did in the '50s and '60s), but if you can get away with opening male-only clubs that are targeted at gay men, what's to stop someone from opening male-only clubs that are targeted at pigs?

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BruinDan
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I'm with Dzuun on this one. It's all a little too Jim Crow-ish for my liking. I tend to think that creating separate clubs for separate groups of people does more to divide us than unite us. I would rather be at a club surrounded by people who were gay and straight than at a bar with one group specifically. The bottom line is that we all have to live here on the planet together, so why bother separating ourselves from people who are "different?"

To me, a club that doesn't permit entry to heterosexuals is no different from a restaurant that doesn't serve minorities. It's just plain wrong, and counter-productive in the long run.

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Heather
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IMO, public places really should be just that: public.

If we want selective gatherings, this is what we have house parties, apartment gatherings and private parties for. If you don't like to ne gawked at in public, don't do anything gawk-worthy. If you want to let it all hang out, people are going to look now and then, regardless of their gender.

Honestly, it really isn't that hard, even when your orientation or sexual idnetity is outside the norm. Plenty of us manage it just fine.

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