Perth: Gay venue The Court Hotel addresses complaints of homophobic behaviour

The Court Hotel. Photo: Jessica Warriner
The Court Hotel. Photo: Jessica Warriner

A PERTH club has come under fire from the LGBTI community for not protecting patrons from homophobic comments and behaviour.

More than 1900 people signed a petition calling on The Court Hotel to remove LGBTI branding – including a prominent flag – unless changes were made to make the LGBTI community feel safe.

The Court has long been one of the city’s only LGBTI venues, and said they had been attracting a larger crowd since new renovations were completed.

“We are sorry to everyone who has felt uncomfortable or unsafe at the venue and we want to reassure you all that we will work hard to stamp out this behaviour immediately,” they wrote on Facebook.

“We’ve noticed a few of you have expressed frustration recently at how some new patrons have come into our amazing venue but not respected the values that we stand for including celebration, respect and a love for diversity.”

A Facebook commenter wrote that the culture of the new attendees needed to change.

“You took a beloved gay club (one of the only we have) and turned it into a ‘gay friendly’ straight club, even if it’s unintentional,” he said.

“You need to fundamentally change the culture of your new crowd or you’ll lose the LGBT community which used to feel so at home with you.”

My Kitchen Rules star and Mr Gay World 2018 Jordan Bruno said in a public Facebook post that The Court had gone beyond the call of duty countless times to make LGBTI people feel safe.

“I understand the venue has become less queer over the last few months and people have experienced homophobia from people within the venue (which is obviously not okay),” he said.

“Let them know your concerns, but also give them a chance to fix it.”

The Court said there were a few things they were working on to change the situation, including RSA (Rainbows, Safety and Attitude) officers at the venue who could help out when patrons report anti-social behaviour, a new code of conduct at the doors, and working with increased security to make sure complaints were handled correctly.

Another Facebook commenter wrote it would take more than those steps to reconcile the damage.

“In all honesty I’d struggle to walk through your doors again and give you my money without a good reason,” he said.

“People have been voicing this for a lot longer than the last few weeks.”

The Court updated their social media this morning thanking everyone who messaged support and suggestions overnight.

“One thing that heartens us is the passion you all have for the venue,” they said.