Wilm. mayor responds to Battle of the Bars investigation

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Mayor Bill Saffo is supporting marines who have been turned away from bars in downtown Wilmington.

"We have these young men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan that come to our community that should be able to go into a nightclub to have a drink if they so choose, and not be turned away from the door," said Saffo.  "You can see there are discriminatory practices happening in town."

Saffo saw video from a WECT report showing a group of marines who were denied access to a bar in downtown Wilmington.

WECT followed the same group of marines to several area nightspots to see if they could get in, and only one nightclub told the servicemen they needed a membership.

Just minutes after they were turned away, several non-marines were able to get into the same club without a membership.

"The only way we are going to be able to eliminate what we just saw, which is unfortunate, is we are going to have to change the law at the state level," said Saffo. "If we don't do that, we are going to continue to see this."

State House Bill 1228 passed in the House Thursday.  If it is approved by the Senate, it would eliminate the need for memberships at private clubs and bars.

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