Michelle Lee was just kicking it with her buddies, enjoying a girls’ night out at a nightclub near her parents’ house when a bouncer approached her. “Can I ask you a personal question?” Lee remembers him asking her. “Are you pregnant?”
Indeed Lee, 29, was pregnant. Eight months pregnant at that. Lee was only drinking water, but that hardly mattered to the staff at the Coach House Bar. The woman was asked to leave a little after midnight two Thursdays ago. The bouncer explained that if anything were to happen to her, the bar might be held liable.
So Lee left without a fuss. But once she had time to think about it, something about the situation didn’t feel right to her. In fact, she now feels as if she was discriminated against.
Lee isn’t buying the bouncer’s argument of liability as the reason why she was asked to leave. Lee told the Chicago Tribune: “He just said, if anything happens, if a fight breaks out and you get hurt, we are responsible. That can happen anywhere. If I am going somewhere, I am taking responsibility.”
Ed Yohnka, a spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union feels that the case was discrimination. “There are certain things for which you are not able to discriminate against someone, and one is their gender. And only women can have babies. You can’t discriminate against a pregnant person.”
So, do I think that a pregnant woman should be allowed in a bar? I do. But choosing to do so strikes me as a strange decision which borders on irresponsible. You know that old saying “Nothing good happens after midnight”? Well they ought to update it to “Nothing good happens after midnight at a bar when you’re 8 months pregnant.” My wife’s currently pregnant. I certainly hope she wouldn’t kick it with her posse at a local bar til midnight at any point during her pregnancy, much less 8 months into it.
I suspect that the Lee’s very presence was making the other patrons uncomfortable. Kind of like a priest at a strip joint might. But that doesn’t mean the priest doesn’t have a right to be there. Curious though it may be, he has every right to be there. Same thing with Lee. Forget the fact that a coffee house at noon, or the neighborhood restaurant at 7 might have been more appropriate venues for her and her gal pals to catch up.
So to Michelle Lee, I say this: Rock on, girl. And fight for your rights. Have that clown from the ALCU press charges against the bar for kicking you out while you were 8 months pregnant shortly after midnight on that random Thursday. They had no right to do that to you.