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Colchester transsexual and friends fight ‘illegal’ ban
A TRANSSEXUAL says her human rights have been breached after she and her pals were banned from a bar.
Olivia Mulgrew, 46, of Harwich Road, Colchester, and five transgender friends, have been told by the landlady they are putting other customers off.
The group had regularly enjoyed the live music and karaoke at Ronnie’s Bar, in Clacton, but were suddenly barred this week.
Miss Mulgrew, who had a sex change 11 years ago, said: “If it was a person with different skin pigmentation or ethnic origin and people didn’t like them, they could not be asked to leave.
“Sexual orientation or gender issues seem to be something people think is OK to discriminate on.”
Miss Mulgrew said they had been drinking at the bar in Old Road for about ten weeks and there was nothing to suggest their behaviour had played a part in the ban.
She said they liked the bar as they felt comfortable there.
Miss Mulgrew was contacted this week by the landlady, who said the group could no longer go there.
Miss Mulgrew said: “She had received reports and they weren’t good.
“She said she was losing custom and customers were staying away because of us.
“We all understand bigotry puts this lady in a terrible position as she is losing customers.
“However, when you own a business there are laws, and you are not allowed to discriminate against people. Because the general public aren’t aware of the laws, by staying away from a place because it is a ‘tranny bar’ they are putting the landlady in an awkward position.”
Linda Lockert-Smith, the landlady, said: “Entry is at the management’s discretion and we have the right to refuse anyone we wish.”
She would not respond directly to the allegation Miss Mulgrew had been banned because of her gender reassignment.
A spokesman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “Under equality laws, a bar cannot refuse to serve a customer because they are a transsexual person or are with a transsexual person.
“If they do so, they may face a discrimination claim.”
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