Banning gay couples from 'date night' not wrong - Brakpan restaurant

2017-01-23 17:03

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Johannesburg - The Lake Restaurant in Brakpan says there is nothing wrong with excluding same-sex couples from its "date night" functions, despite criticism from the SA Human Rights Commission.

In an SMS, which is sent out once a booking has been made for "date night", the restaurant stipulates that same-sex couples are not welcome.

Eyewitness News journalists, Clement Manyathela and Victor Magwedze, entered the restaurant last Thursday pretending to be a gay couple. At the door, they were asked whether they were a same-sex couple. They said they were and were asked to leave.

The restaurant’s hostess told them they were welcome any other evening, as long as it was not a Thursday.  

On Monday, restaurant owner Sami-Jo Amiras told News24: "Date night is a themed event designed for a man and a woman.

"The reason for stating 'no same-sex couple' is not meant to discriminate against anyone, but to control a couple’s event."

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is looking into the matter. Spokesperson Gushwell Brooks said the equality clause of the Constitution stated clearly that discrimination based on sexual orientation was unacceptable.

"There are numerous establishments that still refuse entry or services to people based on their sexual orientation and that this is obviously in breach of our right to equality," he said.

In an online review of The Lake Restaurant, one person said: "What is next? Banning people based on their skin colour, religion, height, weight? There is no place for people or business like this in our country."

According to another comment posted two months ago by a previously regular patron, "the other couples feel very uncomfortable and they would rather state 'no same sax couples' then loosing their other customers!!! [sic]."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  gay rights  |  lgbti rights

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