University student complains to Quebec human rights
QUEBEC BUREAU CHIEF
MONTREAL–University student Audrey
Vachon sat down at a city patio for a late afternoon
drink with her dad last week. What happened next
prompted a complaint to Quebec's human rights
The patio belongs to Le Stud, a
self-styled "hard, manly and virile" leather bar on
the fringes of Montreal's Gay Village.
Audrey's father, Gilles Vachon, said
a server sidled over and said "This establishment is
for men only. Please leave."
Audrey Vachon, 20, said she has
never felt singled out the way she was on that
day."I've frequented other places in the Village ...
and it's the first time I've ever come up against
this kind of closed-mindedness. In fact, it's the
first time I've ever felt discriminated against."
Her expulsion has provoked a storm
of criticism of Le Stud's owner, who said it is
house policy to admit only men – other than on
Ladies Night on Wednesdays.
Gaycities.com gives Le Stud five
stars and describes it as "bears and queens, leather
MontrealPlus.ca explains its narrow
dance floor "encourages friskiness. Also, the many
televisions continuously display porn flicks."
Gadoury owns several other
establishments in the Gay Village, which admit
women, he said.
Montreal's Gay Chamber of Commerce
and Société de développement commercial du Village
called on Le Stud to "respect the Quebec Charter of
Rights and Freedoms," which bans discrimination
based on gender or sexual orientation.
Société executive director Bernard
Plante said heterosexuals should understand why gays
might prefer to be with each other: "I dream of the
day where I will be able to walk into a restaurant
with my partner holding his hand and maybe giving
him a kiss. That's still not always possible in this
day and age."
That's not an appeal that holds much
weight for Gilles Vachon.
"Here we are in a liberal country
confronted by people who have used the charter of
rights to assert their rights against
discrimination, and who are now discriminating
"I would never presume to
discriminate against a gay person. Why should this
be allowed to happen to my daughter?" asked Vachon.
"I was angry when this happened. We should probably
have stayed and forced them to call the police to