Sunday, April 25, 2010
Just maybe rights tribunals have gone too far
A restaurant in a northwest suburb of Adelaide that refused a blind man entry because it thought his guide dog was "gay" was ordered by the Equal Opportunity Tribunal to pay him $1500.
Ian Jolly, 57, was barred from dining at the Thai Spice restaurant in May 2009 after a staff member mistook his guide dog Nudge for a "gay dog," a tribunal heard this week.
A statement given by restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Anh Hoang Le said one of the restaurant's waiters said that Mr Jolly's partner Ms Chris Lawrence stated "she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant."
Mr Jolly and Ms Lawrence were refused entry to the restaurant - which displays a "guide dogs welcome" sign - even after providing staff with a guide dogs fact card.
At an Equal Opportunity Tribunal conciliation hearing on Friday, the restaurant agreed to provide Mr Jolly with a written apology and attend an Equal Opportunity education course, in addition to paying him $1500.
"The staff genuinely believed that Nudge was an ordinary pet dog which had been desexed to become a gay dog," a statement from the hearing said.