1Bar owner appeals ruling over “For Service, Speak English” sign
MASON, Ohio (AP): A bar owner is asking the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to reconsider its ruling that a sign in his window saying “For Service, Speak English” is discriminatory.
The commission ruled earlier this month that the sign at the Pleasure Inn violates state discrimination laws and creates an affront to Latinos.
As a result of the motion by bar owner Tom Ullum, the commission will hold a hearing on Oct. 27 at Cincinnati City Hall.
Ullum has said the sign is meant to be “tongue in cheek.”
“We get Mexicans in here all the time and I don’t discriminate,” said Ullum, who has owned the tavern for 21 years.
Ohio law says it is unlawful for any proprietor of a place of public accommodation to deny the full enjoyment of the accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or ancestry.
The commission investigated after HOME (Housing Opportunities Made Equal), a fair-housing agency in Mount Auburn, complained in July on behalf of both whites and Latinos, who were offended by the sign.
The commission said the English-only rule serves no purpose other than to discriminate against non-English speaking individuals.
Ullum could be ordered to pay for advertisements about nondiscrimination, and his staff could be ordered to undergo diversity training or cultural sensitivity training.
Mason is about 20 miles northeast of Cincinnati.