Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

City of Austin v. Driskill Hotel

(2010)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 26,900+ case briefs...

City of Austin v. Driskill Hotel

Carlos A. Ball, From the Closet to the Courtroom

(2010)

Facts

In 1976 the city of Austin, Texas, (plaintiff) enacted an ordinance that made it a misdemeanor for places of public accommodation to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation, punishable by a $200 fine. The stately and historic Driskill Hotel (the hotel) (defendant), where most Texas governors in the last century held their inaugural balls, opened a dance bar called the Cabaret the following year. The Cabaret attracted a small local contingent of gay clientele. Worried that the Cabaret would become known as a gay club, the hotel instituted a house rule prohibiting same-sex couples from dancing together. When hotel staff started asking same-sex couples dancing together to leave, word spread through the Austin lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. A group of four students, two men and two women, went to the Cabaret with a city attorney and a member of the city’s antidiscrimination commission. When the students danced as same-sex couples, a hotel manager demanded that they leave. The commission investigated, and the city attorney charged the Driskill with violating the antidiscrimination ordinance. The city attorney’s office enlisted the help of a young California attorney, Matthew Coles, who had helped draft San Francisco’s gay-rights law. At trial, the hotel argued its rule did not discriminate against gays because it applied to anyone dancing with a member of the same sex, gay or not. To prove the policy nonetheless disparately impacted gays, Coles hired four experts to testify that people usually dance with the sex they prefer. But all four experts pulled out the day before trial. Instead, Coles found someone who owned two discos in Austin—one gay, one straight—to testify about dance-partner preferences. The students who danced together also testified, explaining how the Driskill made them feel like second-class citizens and how difficult it was to be openly gay. The hotel countered that even if most same-sex couples dancing together are gay, that did not make its neutral policy antigay.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 540,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 540,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 26,900 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 540,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 26,900 briefs - keyed to 983 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership