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Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981
File 007
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Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981 - File 007. 1981-02. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 9, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2018/show/2003.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1981-02). Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981 - File 007. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2018/show/2003

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981 - File 007, 1981-02, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 9, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2018/show/2003.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981
Contributor
  • Olinger, James K.
Publisher Gay Community Services
Date February 1981
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 5962584
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 007
Transcript 6! ^CONNECTIONS' CABARET CABARET VICTORY FORMER DRISKILL OWNERS PAY UP by Wayde Frey The former owners of the Driskill Bar and Grill have plead no contest to two counts of violating Austin's Public Accommodations Ordinance by refusing to allow two gay couples to dance together in the Driskill's Cabaret disco. Laral Hotel Corporation, a restaurant-bar holding company from Avila Beach, California, bought the Driskill Hotel from Braniff International in July of 1980. Driskill Bar and Grill Inc., a subsidiary of Braniff, paid $200 in fines and $85 in court costs on October 1, 1980, because, as a dissolving corporation, it had no interest in further litigation, according to their attorney, Mark Levbarg. Between the time the two gay couples filed discrimination charges against the Cabaret, a disco bar in the Driskill, and the time Driskill Bar and Grill Inc. paid its fines, two years and seven months had elapsed. During that period, an Austin jury found the Driskill guilty of violating Austin's Public Accommodations Ordinance, Municipal Judge Steve Russell issued a 16-page opinion denying the defendant's motion for a new trial, and County Court Judge Brock Jones found Driskill Bar and Grill guilty after their plea of no contest. Losed on November 1, 1980, for remodeling. It will reopen around March 1, 1981, as a restaurant-bar called "The Driskill Bar and Grille." It will not be a disco, nor will it have dancing on the premises. What is the significance of these courts upholding Austin's Public Accommodations Ordinance, which says proprietors of public accommodations cannot refuse anyone on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age. Or physical handicap? Presumably, gay couples car. now go to their favorite Austin nightspot, hold hands, dance together, and be themselves, knowing that if the proprietor tells them they can't dance together like straight couples, the proprietor risks a $100 fine. Mark Levbarg, attorney for Driskill Bar and Grill, told CONNECTIONS he believes the most useful thing anyone learned in this case was that you can pick a jury in Travis County that is not biased against homosexuals. He recalled that many prospective jurors in the 1979 trial said they believed that homosexuality was a sin, but not a particularly great sin. Levbarg also stated that the Driskill Bar and Grill had an economic interest in continuing the Cabaret's rule against same-sex dancing. He said the house rule predated gay dancing at the Cabaret. The idea was to have men buy drinks for women. When CONNECTIONS asked Levbarg if it is not true that gays also buy lots of mixed drinks, he replied that of course gays buy drinks, too. He said Austin bar owners worry that If their bar attracts a primarily gay clientele, the gay crowd will eventually move on to another Austin bar. Levbarg says Austin tavern owners told him if Austin's gay population were twice as large, there would be enough business to keep them out of bankruptcy. It would mean that when one gay crowd left a particular bar, another would come take its place. r Perhaps economics was the reason the Driskill fought its case for two and a half years. Perhaps homophobia was also part of the motivation. Levbarg doesn't think the issue of discrimination against same-sex dancing being equated with discrimination based on sexual orientation would stand up to further litigation. But that is, after all, the opinion of the former Driskill owners' attorney. The fact is that the Driskill Bar and Grill chose not to pursue its case further. It paid its fines, and Austin's Public Accommodations Ordinance has held up in court, setting an important precedent for future gay discrimination cases. CHRONOLOGY OF THE STATE OF TFXAS vs., AND GRILL. INC. L 1976 APRIL Austin City Council passed the Public Accommodations Ordinance forbidding discrimination based on "sexual orientation." 1977 NOVEMBER The Cabaret asked two men to leave because they were dancing together. The Cabaret was part of the Driskill Hotel, then owned by Driskill Bar and Grill Inc., a subsidiary of Braniff International. 197 8 FEBRUARY Amme Hogan, Dennis Milam, Norma Funder- burg, and Bruce Aleksander went into the Cabaret as mixed couples and began dancing. They soon switched to their natural arrangement. Some customers stared, but they were tolerated until the first slow dance began. An employee then approached Dennis and Bruce and told them a house rule prohibited same- sex dancing. Gay activist attorney Woody Egger, who had accompanied the two couples to the Cabaret, told the Continued, on pa
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