A long-running battle between the Oregon Building Codes Division and the city of Portland has devolved into an argument over which agency is more concerned about the safety of LGBTQ clubgoers.
The case entered a new phase last week when the city filed a motion asking a state administrative law judge to dismiss the state’s case. At issue is who regulates sprinklers in Portland nightclubs.
Court documents show the state sent an investigator to the drag bar Darcelle’s XV and to the gay strip club Silverado. (State investigators were anxious to prove their case that the city over-stepped its authority with a 2013 ordinance requiring all nightclubs with capacity over 100 to install sprinklers.)
In its most recent filing, the state accused Portland of discriminating against LGBTQ patrons by not requiring sprinklers in those clubs.
“Nightclubs focused on LGBTQ patrons did not have the Ordinance enforced against them,” the state argues. “[The city] is more concerned about the safety of some nightclub patrons than others.”
In its Oct. 30 response, the city explained Darcelle’s already had sprinklers when the ordinance passed and Silverado was in the process of installing them.
A hearing is scheduled for early December.