Oregon: Bar owner accused of discriminating against transgender customers

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

The Oregon labor commissioner has filed discrimination charges against a Portland bar owner accused of telling transgender patrons to stay away.

KATU reports Commissioner Brad Avakian filed the charge on Tuesday against the Twilight Room Annex, formerly known as the P Club.

Bar owner Chris Penner is accused of asking a group of transgender patrons described as the Rose City T-Girls to stop visiting because he didn’t want it to be known as a “tranny bar.”

At the time he was accused during August 2012, Mr Penner said he was shocked and baffled by the discrimination allegation.

He said he has gay staff, and the bar has hosted same-sex wedding receptions and gay pride events.

Oregon state law protects anyone from discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The charges are the first commissioner’s complaint filed under the landmark 2007 Oregon Equality Act, a law to protect the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender Oregonians in employment, housing and public places.