Radio presenter Ray Hadley has accused a Sydney hotel of “reverse discrimination” for asking his friends to vacate a function room to make way for a lesbian event.


But the organiser of the Fingers First event said Hadley’s party was asked to leave because the lesbians felt intimidated by them.


Hadley, host of 2GB’s morning show, told listeners on Monday he attended a party on Friday night with his work colleagues in a booked function room at the Civic Hotel.


At around 8:30pm he noticed a group of women at the bar, “and it was fairly obvious these young ladies were lesbians because they were holding hands and they dressed like men,” he said on his program.


“Now I don’t have a problem with that. I said hello to a couple of them who obviously listen to this program,” he added.


Hadley also said some of his own colleagues had taken their same-sex partners to his function, and he had “no problem with that whatsoever”.


Hadley said he left the party at 9:30pm. Around 10pm – the time Fingers First officially started – the hotel’s management told his colleagues to move to a downstairs bar because the women at the party in the adjoining space felt intimidated by some of the men, he said.


It was “one of the most ridiculous complaints you could ever imagine from a group of young women who described themselves as lesbians”, he said on his program.


Hadley also said he was offended by a sign in the venue for the lesbian event, saying “Fingers First”.


Alex Theydon, a director of events company Lipstick Theatre, which held Fingers First, told Sydney Star Observer a few of the men had been “quite rude and intimidating to the girls”.


“I don’t mean to include all of them, but there were four who I noticed in particular,” she said. “They were leering at them, saying things like, ‘lesbians, you’re hot.’ Grabbing arms, commenting to them.”


Theydon said five women complained to her about the men’s behaviour before she asked security to remove the party.


The incident affected “the feel of the whole night”, Theydon said, and the crowd of around 300 women at Fingers First left the party earlier than she had expected.


Sourced from Sydney Star Observer - Issue 817 - Published 25/05/2006