Well, I suppose if it reads “Don’t dress like a big flaming poof or one of them bean flicking, dungaree wearing lezzies” then yes, without going into the rights or wrongs of having such a dress code I’d say that could fairly be construed as homophobic. But I’m not sure that a simple prohibition on brightly coloured suits is anything more than what it says on the proverbial tin, so I can’t see that Jason Bradley, who is both gay and cross that he was asked to leave the members’ pavilion at Melbourne’s Flemington racecourse last Thursday, is onto a winner here.
A man thrown out of the members pavilion at Flemington on Thursday for wearing a red jacket has lodged a complaint against the Victorian Racing Club for discrimination on the grounds of his homosexuality.
Jason Bradley yesterday lodged a complaint with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission on behalf of himself and his friend Jesse Price, who was wearing a pink jacket on Oaks Day. The pair, who had passes to the members area, had been in a bar on the ground floor for about an hour on Thursday and were on their second drink of the day when they were approached at about 2pm by a female VRC security officer.
”She complimented us on our outfits, and said we were very on-trend and then said we’d probably be more comfortable in the general area,” Mr Bradley told The Saturday Age yesterday.
He asked if he and his friend were being asked to leave, she said yes, and he said they would go as soon as they had finished their drinks, which they did.
Mr Bradley insisted they were in no way being rowdy.
So far, so discriminatory, some would say. But hang on there, Jason, you weren’t being asked to leave because anyone thought you were being rowdy and there’s no suggestion that anyone had said you were. Sounds to me like they just felt that your choice of clothing breached the dress code, that’s all. Doesn’t mean that they were judging your cloths as too loud or too gay or that there’s necessarily anything wrong with either. It’s just about whether or not they met the established dress code for the Flemington members’ pavilion, which Jason himself appears to realise.
In his submission to the commission Mr Bradley wrote that ”having checked the rules and feeling that we did comply, we felt pretty confident that the complaint was made because we were clearly identifiable as gay”.
So Jason checked the rules, and what did the rules say?
… the VRC has responded to the charge with reference to its dress code, which states that ”brightly coloured suits” are not acceptable attire for men in the members area. However, ”tailored slacks, sports coat or blazer, plus tie and dress shoes” are acceptable.
Their place, their rules, and no matter my support for adults to be free to insert whatever parts of themselves into whatever other adults consent for them to do so, my support for property rights is greater. If we don’t have that we’ve got nothing, so I’ll leave it to the judgement of readers as to whether or not Jason Bradley’s and Jesse Price’s suits complied with the dress code and so whether or not their being asked to leave really was about them being gay.