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Gay bar bans bussing after discrimination claim by heterosexuals

March 10, 1997

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A gay bar that banned heterosexual kissing has now forbidden any smooching after being accused of discriminating against its straight patrons.

``I was trying to be sensitive to the needs of my customers,″ said Morgan Gorrono, manager of The Cafe. ``My main complaint from customers is there are too many straight people here.″

The bar, located in the predominantly gay Castro District, was reprimanded by city officials for its ban on heterosexual kissing after ejecting a man and woman last summer for what a friend said was a passionate buss.

The friend, Damon Jacobs, complained of the treatment.

``The bartender went up to them and said something like, `This is a gay bar. What you’re doing is very offensive to people here. I’d like to ask you to leave for your own safety,‴ Jacobs said.

Jacobs, who is gay, and the couple were ejected by a bouncer.

``I was appalled that this was happening to my friends in this community,″ Jacobs said. ``It’s very disappointing to me that our businesses are being such poor role models.″

Gorrono, who maintains the man and woman were ejected mostly because they were drunk, said gay customers have complained as more and more heterosexuals frequent the bar.

``When we can get married, they can kiss in our bars,″ said Patrick Wagner, a Castro resident drinking a beer at the bar Saturday. ``There are several hundred bars where straights can go kiss. So, out of respect for our community, I think they should refrain from kissing here.″

But Maurice Harris, a patron at a nearby bar, said any ban on sexual expression would mar the Castro’s tradition of acceptance.

``Anyone can kiss around here,″ said Harris. ``You can be anything you want in the Castro. The Castro is all about tolerance.″