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Disabled Couple Win Glasgow Gay Bar Discrimination Case

June 12, 2014

A disabled couple have won a discrimination case against a gay bar in Glasgow.

Nathan and Robert Gale took G1 Group to court for unlawful discrimination after they were turned away from the Polo Lounge on 13 June 2013 because management claimed they had no disabled facilities.

Robert Gale has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.

When the couple explained that they did not need disabled facilities they were still refused entry.

On Wednesday, Glasgow Sheriff Court ruled that G1 Group had unlawfully discriminated against the couple, who will receive £2,000 in compensation.

Speaking after the ruling, Nathan and Robert Gale said: “We are delighted with the result which sends a clear message to businesses across Scotland that disability discrimination is illegal and will not be tolerated, just as we would not accept discrimination on the basis of race or sexuality.

“We hope this ruling will encourage companies to review their policies to ensure they comply with the law and provide the welcoming environment that their disabled customers deserve.”

Nathan and Robert, who have both worked for equality charities in Scotland, went to the Polo Lounge to celebrate after attending the Scottish Charity Awards 2013 as guests of the Equality Network, the Scottish LGBT equality charity, who won the ‘Campaign of the Year’ award for equal marriage in Scotland.

The couple said it was particularly ironic and depressing to face discrimination at a gay venue on the night they had received an award for a major equality campaign.

Tim Hopkins, Director of the Equality Network, added: “We welcome this important judgement, which sends out a clear message that businesses must not discriminate, whether on grounds of disability or on any other grounds, such as sexual orientation or gender identity. This case shows that people can use the courts to stand up against discrimination and win.”

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