- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 2, 2017

Philadelphia’s Commission on Human Relations is ordering owners and staff of 11 gay bars and clubs to undergo anti-discrimination training after a report found that the city’s famed “Gayborhood” has been unwelcoming to minorities and transwomen for decades.

The commission released a report last month based on verbal and written testimony from community members that found Gayborhood businesses “are owned by white, cisgender, males who create preferable environments for white, cisgender male patrons.”

“Although the expectation is a ‘safe space’ for all LGBTQ people, many people of color, women and transgender individuals experience racism, prejudice and discrimination in these spaces,” the report revealed. “Transwomen of color are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and physical violence.”

The commission on Jan. 23 issued an action plan requiring the bars to undergo sensitivity training within three months or possibly be punished or face legal action, The Associated Press reported.

“We determined it was necessary for all of the bars to be trained on anti discrimination laws and implicit bias so all members of the LGBTQ community can feel safe from bias and discrimination wherever they go,” Rue Landau, the commission’s executive director, told Eater on Wednesday.

The issue gained renewed interest last year after a YouTube video of ICandy bar owner Darryl DePiano saying the N-word sparked a boycott. Other complaints heard by the commission claimed that people of color have been denied entry to venues based on vague dress codes and white gay men are often given preferential service, Eater reported.

Training will be free for bar owners and staff at ICandy, Woody’s, Boxer’s, Stir Lounge, Voyeur, UBar, Tabu, Franky Bradley’s, Knock, Tavern on Camac, and Bike Stop.

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