Steve Horner hopes to win big against ladies' night in Las Vegas
Steve Horner might have finally hit the jackpot in his fight against ladies' night.
Long a crusader against the drink special -- he argues it amounts to discrimination against men -- Horner wired his Yankee's hat for sound and busted up some Las Vegas "pool parties" last summer. To Horner's surprise, the Nevada Equal Rights Commission thinks he might have a case, and will facilitate mediation with several casinos later this month.
It's a big score for justice, says Horner. "Nevada and Las Vegas are the mother lode of ladies' night."
Horner has been fighting to criminalize ladies' night for more than 20 years, ever since Gator's Bar in Mall of America wouldn't let him in without paying a cover. As he explained it to us last fall:
"I've had my crosses in life too, gals! For you to preach equality to me for 35 frickin' feminist years, but yet want free drinks when it's tits up at the bar time, I'm saying foul. You've got to take the salt with the sugar, sweetie. You're not going to deny me of my equal rights."
A Minnesota native, Horner is also the brother of Tom Horner, who ran for governor last election on the Independence Party ticket. He's had some success against ladies' night over the years, but his relentlessness has also led to him being thrown in jail.
Last summer, Horner traveled from his home in St. George, Utah, to Las Vegas with the intention of recording some bartenders refusing to give him the same discounts they give women.
"I asked for the door manager, and I did exactly what the Nevada Equal Rights Commission said for me to do," says Horner. "Find out the discrepancy in price, and then ask that door manager if he or she would let me in for the same price for women. And of course it was always, 'Ha ha ha, you idiot, get lost.'"
He used his findings to file complaints against the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Mirage Resort and Casino, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Tropicana, and the M Resort Spa Casino, he says.
In April, he found "six fat envelopes" in his mail box. The Equal Rights Commission was inviting Horner to participate in mediation, ruling that "probable cause supports the charge that Respondent's practice of charging men more than women is discriminatory under NRS chapter 233," according to a letter from the commission provided by Horner.
"They found that my rights have been violated, no different than the Jew at the Catholic bar," says Horner.
Mediation sessions are set to begin Wednesday, though it sounds like at least four of the casinos have already declined to participate. Horner wouldn't say exactly how much he hopes to get, but says he originally asked for $2,000 in punitive damages in addition to real damages -- gas, the price difference between men and women -- from each. "I can say I bumped it up a little bit," he says.
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