TEXAS:Lesbian bar denied insurance coverage due to drag shows

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HOUSTON – Denied. For the owner of a local lesbian bar, that’s the word that keeps playing over and over in her head. This, after she said an insurance underwriter denied coverage to her business, in part, because it hosts drag shows.

Julie Mabry, owner of Pearl Bar, has insurance but decided to switch agents and shop around for a new policy after mistakes were made on some of the paperwork. A response that her new insurance agent received, which she shared with her, not only alarmed her but left her in tears.

“They outright denied us , the underwriters because we host drag shows,” Mabry said.

Drag shows was the first thing mentioned in that email, followed by the bar’s daily drink specials with the underwriter stating “we won’t write the risk.”

“This is the first time I’ve ever gotten an email like that. I cried about this for about a week,” Mabry said.

Mabry added that only people who are 21 and older can enter her bar and they don’t allow children inside to watch drag shows. She believes the current political climate is what’s fueling this.

“And the narrative that we aren’t good people that’s what I believe the insurance companies are looking at as a risk. obviously, at some point they have decided that we are too much of a risk,” Mabry said.

What’s more, insuring a bar isn’t like insuring a car. A policy isn’t automatically renewed. Mabry said bar owners have to reapply each year. She’s already paying $60,000 a year for coverage and if the cost goes even higher, she fears the worst moving forward.

“You have to think about the people we employ, how much we buy from Spec’s all those other things. You take one away and all of us start declining , you’re hurting the economy,” Mabry said.




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