Blind man shunned after restaurant staff hear ‘gay dog’ not ‘guide dog’

Straight from the archives entitled ‘you couldn’t make it up’, a female friend of a blind man in Australia asked if he could bring his guide dog into a restaurant, but the staff misheard her, thinking she’d said ‘gay dog’. Not wanting any homosexual dogs in their restaurant, they turned her away!

57 year old Ian Jolly, his female friend and his guide dog, ‘Nudge’, wanted to enter the restaurant that served Thai food, in Adelaide last year. However, a misunderstanding on behalf of staff at the restaurant led them to believe that Nudge was in fact gay; and they turned the trio away.

The restaurant has now been taken to an equal opportunities tribunal, where its owners defended their employee’s actions by stating:

The staff genuinely believed that Nudge was an ordinary pet dog which had been desexed to become a gay dog.

The restaurant has refused to give any comment to the press in Australia, but they do display a sign stating that guide dogs are welcome. There are no signs commented on the acceptance of gay dogs, however.

Following the tribunal, Mr Jolly, and Nudge, will receive compensation for emotional distress and embarrassment to the tune of $1,400. They will also receive a written apology.

Mr Jolly is not satisfied however, commenting:

I always have that fear now, when I go out.

I just want to be like everyone else and be able to go out for dinner.

In 2008, a blind man was turned away from an Indian restaurant in the UK because the owner of the restaurant said that the presence of the dog was against his Muslim beliefs – but at least he knew the dog was a ‘guide dog’, not a gay dog.