The Associated Press
A bar fight is brewing between one Scottsdale establishment and the chairwoman of the city’s Human Relations Commission.
At issue, a ban on transgendered people at Anderson’s Fifth Estate nightclub.
Michele deLaFreniere believes its wrong to treat gay and transgendered people differently in the City of Scottsdale.
DeLaFreniere, 52, has lived as a woman since 2004.
DeLaFreniere filed a discrimination complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office against the Old Town Scottsdale night spot.
Owner Tom Anderson acknowledges banning transgendered people from the club, but he said it was the best solution he could come up after female customers objected to having “men in dresses” using the women’s restroom.
Anderson said he couldn’t have them using the men’s restroom, because men harassed them and took their pictures.
Since he’s liable for his customers’ safety, Anderson said he had no choice but to ban transgendered people from the bar. “There was no place I could put these people,” Anderson said.
While deLaFreniere charged Anderson with bigotry, Anderson said that deLaFreniere threatened to use her position with the city against him, an accusation she denies.
DeLaFreniere said Anderson rudely refused her and one of her friends entry into the club a couple of days after Thanksgiving.
“He grabbed the money from my hand and said, ‘I don’t want your business or your kind here,’ ” she said.
Anderson said he never told deLaFreniere that “her kind” were not welcome in his club.