Anti-gay restaurant: Eateries urged to comply with Equality Act

EWN on Monday revealed Lake Restaurant on the East Rand doesn't allow same-sex couples at their establishment on certain nights.

FILE: Eyewitness News journalists Clement Manyathela &  Victor Magwedze present themselves as a gay couple at the entrance of The Lake Restaurant in Brakpan. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Calls have been made for restaurants to align themselves to the values enshrined in the Constitution.

This comes after an Eyewitness News investigation revealed Lake Restaurant, on the East Rand, does not allow same-sex couples at their establishment on certain nights.

Two EWN reporters booked and paid for the so called 'date night', posing as a gay couple, but were denied entry saying it contravenes their policy for the evening.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Restaurant Association of South Africa are now investigating the Brakpan restaurant's policy.

The SAHRC says it’s shocking that there are still restaurants and private companies that discriminate against customers on the basis of their sexuality.

Spokesperson Gushwell Brooks says, “Organisations and establishments that practice this should really start thinking about it, because it is in fact a human rights violation if there is no just cause for why they are turning people away.”

Constitutional expert Pierre de Vos says restaurants can’t use 'right of admission reserved' to discriminate against customers on the basis of their sexuality.

“The promotion of the Equality Act says a private business cannot discriminate on any basis; race, sex, gender, sexual orientation - against anyone. They cannot claim that it is their private business and that they have a right to reserve admission because the law prohibits that."

The Restaurant Association of South Africa has also weighed in, calling on restaurants to comply with the Equality Act.

(Edited by Neo Koza)