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Bias in Escondido?

May 15, 1988

In Escondido, a restaurant is facing closure without justifiable reasons ("Escondido Eatery Goes to Court Over Gays' Right to Dance," April 30). The city claims that the establishment was converted from a restaurant to a bar without a cabaret license, which would allow the restaurant to serve more liquor than food and provide dancing facilities.

If this is the case, then the establishment should be granted the appropriate permit(s) in order to remain in business. Although I share the city's concern, a refusal to give the restaurant a temporary operating permit was probably largely due to the bar's clientele. This issue raises a controversial question: Is the city shutting down the restaurant because it did not obtain the required permit, or is it because of the fact that the customers are homosexuals?

I acknowledge the fact that the restaurant did violate the law by not obtaining the cabaret license. But this does not justify why the city refuses to grant this permit to provide liquor and musical entertainment. This action by the city appears to have violated one's right to compete in the marketplace and enjoy the benefits of our free enterprise system.

The City of Escondido should not have absolute authority over business establishments without some sort of measure to prevent prejudiced decisions.

As a heterosexual, it's hard for me to understand the needs of a homosexual person. But, as long as he does not impose on the rights of others, he should have the right to do what he chooses.

But who are they to judge? These people have the freedom of choice and the right to the pursuit of happiness. These privileges are guaranteed under the Constitution and all people, regardless, have the right to partake in these benefits given by our founding fathers.

PAUL V. TRAN

La Jolla

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