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Portland nightclub hit with discrimination complaint

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian has filed unlawful discrimination charges against North Portland’s Twilight Room Annex.

Avakian says his Bureau of Labor and Industries investigators found evidence that bar owner Chris Penner tried to dissuade a group of transgendered people from patronizing the bar out of concerns it would become known as a “tranny bar.”

It’s Avakian’s first such complaint since the 2007 Legislature passed the state’s first civil rights protections for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people. The Oregon Equality Act protects those individuals from discrimination in workplaces, housing, career schools and public accommodations.

“Business owners cannot discriminate against patrons based on gender identity,” Avakian stated in a news release.

Investigators interviewed employees and found no evidence that the group, known as the Rose City T-Girls, disrupted business, according to Avakian.

The bar formerly was known as the P Club.

Penner declined to comment on the complaint.