Lesbians accuse club of prejudice
A COOLUM lesbian couple claim they were forced to leave a Noosa nightclub because of their sexuality.
They also alleged a heavy-handed security guard at the venue, The Reef Hotel, pushed one of them so hard she fell and badly cut her chin.
Jaimie Levy, 28, and her fiancé and long-term partner, Julia Scrafton, 31, said about 1.30am Saturday, after several hours of drinking and dancing at the venue, they were asked to leave.
Both admitted they were “moderately drunk” and were “being affectionate”, but denied they were being disorderly.
A spokesman from the AHL Group, which owns The Reef Hotel, declined to comment.
He did state, however, that the women were not ejected because of their sexuality, but because they had consumed too much alcohol.
“We were dancing together one minute and the next there was a security guard tapping us on the shoulder, asking us to leave,” Ms Levy said.
“We asked for a reason and he wouldn’t give us one.
“Sure, we were mildly intoxicated, like most of the other people there, but we weren’t disgustingly drunk.
“We were being affectionate like any couple, but we certainly weren’t flaunting our sexuality.”
Ms Levy said she and Ms Scrafton were “frog-marched” to the door by two large security guards.
She claimed one pushed Ms Scrafton so hard she lost her footing, fell to the ground and sliced open her chin.
She had to go to hospital immediately to get the laceration treated.
“No reason was given for making us leave so the only thing we can put it down to is our sexuality,” Ms Levy said.
“This is not the first time this has happened to us on the Sunshine Coast. In fact, it’s the fourth time.
“Bar staff at a Mooloolaba pub made us leave and when we confronted the manager afterwards, she admitted it was because we were gay.
“I thought the Coast had moved past this kind of discrimination, but I was obviously wrong.”
The couple, who are raising two children, said it was upsetting to think their kids lived in a place where they could be confronted with such discrimination, especially in Noosa, which prides itself on being “gay friendly”.
They want venues on the Sunshine Coast to adopt policies to make sure homosexual people are treated equally and are not subjected to discrimination.
Graham Norton, of the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities, a gay advocacy group, said cases of people being ejected from clubs and pubs for their sexuality still occurred but “not regularly”.
“It does happen but generally another reason is given,” he said.
“A lot of gay people also self-vet where they go to avoid discrimination.”