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Public Defender Describes Age Limit for Entering Bar as Discrimination

On January 22, 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia found discrimination on the grounds of sex and age against Gagra 91 LLC (Bamboo Lounge Bar).

According to the practice of the Bamboo Lounge Bar, men are allowed to enter the facility from the age of 21, while women are allowed to enter the bar from the age of 18. Thus, the practice restricts men below 21 years of age to enjoy the service.

The respondent states that imposing age restrictions on boys serves to prevent conflict situations and is a preventive practice, as boys are often under the influence of alcohol and behave rudely, so that security guards often have to make them leave the lounge bar. The respondent also notes that girls behave more quietly and do not create conflict situations, and that boys over 21 years are more mature and behave more reasonably. According to the respondent, this practice helps the facility create a safe environment for guests, which is a priority, as most of their guests are girls. It should be noted that the respondent has not submitted relevant proofs.

The Public Defender considers that the facility’s practice of gender and age restriction is blanket and that certain groups of adults (men aged between 18 and 21) are unjustifiably denied access to the publicly available service because of their gender and age. The facility’s approach is based on subjective views and has no objectively established grounds other than stereotypical and wrong conceptions about the development and behavior of people of a particular age.

The Public Defender believes that any person under the influence of alcohol - male or female, irrespective of age, may potentially cause a conflict at any time, and therefore, the age and gender restriction that targets men between the ages of 18 and 21 years could not be described as a useful means of achieving the legitimate aim of preventing conflicts and providing security in the facility.

Given the above, the Public Defender addressed the respondent with a recommendation to lift the restriction and ensure that its publicly offered service can be accessed in accordance with the principle of equality, by making appropriate changes to the online applications and internal regulations.

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