The Bureau of Labor and Industries announced today (pdf) that an investigation of North Portland's P-Club found that owner Christopher Penner "actively attempted to exclude individuals from the establishment based on their sexual orientation and gender identity."
The case against the P Club (now known as the Twilight Room Annex) arose after Penner left a surprising voicemail for regular patron Cassandra Lynn, who often met at the bar with a group of her transgender friends on Friday nights. "Hello, my name is Chris. I'm the owner of the P Club Bar and Grill," said the voicemail. "Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I'm going to have to ask for you, Cass and your group, not to come back on Friday nights. People think that A) we're a tranny bar, or B) that we're a gay bar. We are neither. People are not coming in because they just don't want to be here on a Friday night now."
Lynn played the voicemail for the Bureau of Labor and Industries, which then launched its investigation.
"Blocking the entire group from visiting the P Club in reaction to rumors that the establishment ‘is a tranny bar’ is an overreaction, is unfair, and is on its face unlawful discrimination," reports Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian in a statement today. Unless the bar settles with the state and banned transgender patrons, the next move for the state is to file charges in the case. If the charges are determined to be valid, the state could demand financial damages for the victims here or force the bar to change the way it operates.