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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Publican 'wrong' over transsexuals
Saskia Cousins and Jayne Smith
Saskia Cousins and Jayne Smith leave court on Wednesday
Five transsexuals thrown out of a pub were discriminated against because of their clothes and because they were thought to be "out of the ordinary", a court has heard.

The group - only one of whom had undergone sex-change surgery - were ejected from the Red Lion pub in Thornby, Northamptonshire, after meeting for a drink on 2 March last year.

Landlord John Gawthorp, 53, has told Northampton County Court that he refused to serve four of the group after some customers complained that one of the male to female transsexuals had used the ladies' toilets.

Daphne Lalor, Jayne Smith, Nicki Collette, Mandy Brook and Saskia Cousins are suing the publican under sex discrimination laws and are supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission.

One cannot avoid the finding that if they hadn't been dressed in this way, then this wouldn't have happened
Rachel Crasnow, for the claimants
The commission believes the civil case could clarify the law in relation to the protection of transsexuals in the provision of goods, facilities and services as well as at work.

Rachel Crasnow, for the claimants, told Judge Charles Harris QC: "All the claimants experienced less favourable treatment compared with non-transsexuals.

"The reasons for the treatment were intrinsically bound up with their sexual identity, their gender reassignment.

"One cannot avoid the finding that if they hadn't been dressed in this way, then this would not have happened.

"If the three claimants who arrived at 2100 BST were not dressed in the way they were they would not have been treated in the way they were.

Raised his concerns

"How the publican perceived it was they were treated as both out of the ordinary and wrong."

Miss Crasnow suggested that Mr Gawthorp, who denies he discriminated against the five, acted because he thought the group were men dressed as women and using or likely to use the women's toilets.

He could have raised his concerns with them but did not and would not have acted in a similar way if a man had done the same, she added.

"We say a publican who acts on rumours, on an atmosphere, to such a degree as the defendant did act, that that behaviour is deemed unlawful," she went on.




SEE ALSO:
Pub discrimination denied
23 Jul 03  |  Northamptonshire
Transsexuals to sue pub
03 Jul 03  |  Northamptonshire
Transsexual fails in court bid
16 Jul 03  |  Nottinghamshire


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