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May 25, 2012

U.S. News: 'Flaunting it': Gay bar bans straight bachelorette parties

U.S. News
Stories from NBC reporters around the country.
'Flaunting it': Gay bar bans straight bachelorette parties
May 25th 2012, 13:03

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By Angie Crouch and Bill French,

The Abbey nightclub in West Hollywood, Calif., regularly welcomes customers who are not gay. But operators say there will be an exception to that policy until same-sex marriage is legal across the land.

“We love our straight girlfriends coming in to celebrate one of the happiest days of their life," says Abbey owner David Cooley. "But it’s also a slap in the face to my customers and my life that we can’t have that same celebration.”

Male go-go dancers are just one reason why one of America's most popular gay bars has become a big draw for straight women's bachelorette parties.

Each weekend, The Abbey hosts several dozen ladies night parties. But Cooley says, no more. Until marriage is legal for everyone, straight women can no longer celebrate their pending nuptials at his club.

His position is getting mixed reviews from both gay and straight customers.

“Everyone should be able to get married," says Roshanna Sabaratnam. "We shouldn’t, as straight people, be flaunting it in front of people who can’t.”

But, there are also some gay customers who disagree.

“I think the ban is an interesting approach to the debate about gay marriage," says Alexander Villalobos. "But I think you shouldn’t limit other people’s rights in order to get yours.”

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