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The Abbey, a popular gay bar in West Hollywood, has joined the marriage equality debate by banning bachelorette parties “as a sign of solidarity until marriage is legal everywhere for everyone,” according to a press release.
Founder and owner David Cooley called the parties an “offensive heterosexual tradition [that] flaunts marriage inequality in the face of gays and lesbians.”
He told CBS that as a gay person himself, seeing bachelorette parties each weekend was “kind of a slap in my face that I couldn’t have that same experience.”
“So I thought that I would put a ban on bachelorette parties until every person will have the right to have a marriage and be able to marry their loved one,” he continued.
According to Time, The Abbey has been named “Best Gay Bar in the World” twice and was frequented by Elizabeth Taylor, who was a symbol for the fight against AIDS.
Cooley said that his philosophy at the bar has always been that everyone is welcome.
“Over the past 22 years, The Abbey has been a place that accepts everyone, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, bisexual and everything in between,” the press release read. “We love our straight girlfriends and they are welcome here, just not for bachelorette parties.”
The Abbey’s decision comes after the recent ban on gay marriage in North Carolina, via Amendment 1, and the ongoing debate over California’s Proposition 8.
President Barack Obama also recently announced his support for marriage equality.
According to ABC, patrons of The Abbey have supported the ban.
“I think it’s great,” customer Summer Chaplin said. “The Abbey is an establishment that is for both heterosexuals like myself and the gay community, but I think it’s important for the community to support the rights of the gay community as well.”
In the press release, Cooley also encourages other gay-owned establishments to follow his lead.