Gay Bar: Bachelorettes, You're Banned!

Boystown bar owner takes Prop 8 stand

By Kristin Nehls
|  Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009  |  Updated 9:46 AM CDT
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Do you agree with the notion of banning bachelorette parties from gay bars?

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Sorry, bachelorette, no gay bar for you.

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All the single ladies who’re going to get a ring on it, a word of caution when planning the bachelorette party: stay out of the gay bars.

The strip of bars that runs through Boystown is a popular choice for brides-to-be and their leading ladies, guaranteeing straight females a grope-free night sans the ogling and pick-up-lines common in straight bars.

The party's over at the Chicago bar Cocktail, where the feather-boa-beaded-necklace-wearing-phallic-paraphernalia-carrying ladies are no longer welcome. The sign at the door, “No Bachelorette Parties,” couldn't be much clearer.

"I'm totally losing money because of it, but I don't want the money,'' Cocktail owner Geno Zaharakis said. “I would rather not have the money than host an event I didn't believe in.''

Cocktail hasn't served bachelorettes since 2004, when he found customers complaining about bachelorettes "flaunting" their right to marry. When California upheld Proposition 8 this year, banning gay marriages, Zaharakis' sign became fuel for an already heated debate.

"It is throwing it in our face that they can get married and we can't,'' said Dion Contreras, 29, a Chicago litigation manager who frequently finds himself having a cocktail at Cocktail. “I just think they're ignorant to our situation. I want women to think twice about this issue.''

While Zaharakis’ solution to his frustrations is to simply ban the bachelorettes, Ed Yohnka, of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and gay marriage supporter, says it's just another type of discrimination.

"The way is not to bar or discriminate against or harass other people,'' Yohnka said.

But "until same-sex marriage is legal everywhere and same-sex couples are allowed the rights as every heterosexual couple worldwide,” Zaharakis has no plans to take his sign down and bachelorette parties will have to commence elsewhere for the time being.

Guess if you like it, then you shouldn’t put a ban on it.

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