Off-duty officials take photos of gay Latino club
The Heat Is On
GLAA statement on Cada Vez dispute
[Note: GLAA issued the following statement in response to a query from reporter
Lou Chibbaro of The Washington Blade. For background, see the Related Links
box on this page.]
|Sent:||Tuesday, July 26, 2005 8:10 AM|
|Subject:||Cada Vez/video surveillance|
GLAA believes that the overzealous tactics by some of the restaurant's opponents deserve a rebuke.
The videotaping of Cada Vez customers is a form of harassment, and the owners should consider complaining to police about loitering outside their establishment. If it turns out that Jeff Coudriet is right that the restaurant's opponents are free to use the public sidewalk for this purpose, then two can play that game. As Frank Kameny suggests, the club's defenders are equally free to stand in the way of the cameras to protect the privacy of the customers. If such confrontations lead to a public disturbance, that should be seen as discrediting the restaurant's opponents, since they are provoking disturbances while claiming to want peace and quiet.
We also believe that regulators should take steps to prevent the misuse of anonymous complaints. While confidentiality of complaints should be preserved, the names of complainants should be recorded by regulators to help identify persons who repeatedly file complaints in a bad-faith effort to harass a particular business. Persons with a record of frequent complaints not sustained by the evidence should have their subsequent complaints flagged as suspicious, should receive a warning, and should be fined if their abuse of the system continues. If multiple investigations show a particular complaint against a business to be without merit, a moratorium of 90 to 120 days should be imposed on repeat investigations of substantially the same complaint. There is no reason why law-abiding businesses should have to endure this sort of harassment, nor why taxpayers should have to subsidize personal vendettas by unreasonable neighbors who wish to turn a lively city into a quiet suburb.
Either an establishment is meeting the requirements of its license or it isn't. Given your report that Cada Vez "has met the 45 percent food requirement each year that it has operated," that should end the matter. The opponents' claim that Cada Vez is "really" operating as a nightclub amounts to an effort to set aside the rules. It is awfully brazen for the NIMBYs, who are repeated, recidivist gamers of the system, to act as if they are shocked, shocked when business owners use the rules to defend themselves. The difference between the two is that the businesses are bearing all of the financial risk while serving customers and generating tax revenue.