Barred For Sexuality or Sneakers?

(WSVN) - She went to a South Florida nightclub where she was told she could not enter the building because of the shoes she wearing. She says the real reason is she is a lesbian … and called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to find out if she could be barred because of her sexuality.

Many people have a look, a style they prefer. Clothes they enjoy — shoes they are comfortable in.

Dailin Roman, not allowed in club: “I don’t wear heels, I wear dress shoes or sneakers or sandals or regular shoes.”

Comfortable shoes for Dailin to go with her casual attire.

Dailin Roman: “I don’t like dresses. I know they are freeing, but I don’t feel comfortable wearing them out.”

Then the other night Dailin, her girlfriend and another couple decided to go to a club on Brickell.

Dailin Roman: “I am standing there waiting in line, the bouncer sees me and he’s like, ‘No, you can’t get in. You are not wearing heels.'”

Dailin said this is the way she dresses.

Dailin Roman: “I don’t wear heels. I’m a lesbian. I don’t do that and he was like, ‘Nope, you can’t get in.'”

Dailin looked around saw what other people were wearing and countered.

Everybody here is wearing sneakers at least the guys.

Dailin said by then it was clear. Her sneakers weren’t the problem. It was her sexual preferance.

Dailin Roman: “It’s not about what I’m wearing anymore, it’s about who I am. I’m a lesbian. I’m not afraid to say it and I’m proud.”

Which brings up the obvious question — how did a bouncer know Dailin is a lesbian?

Dailin Roman: “It was pretty obvious. Just the way I act. It’s obvious that I’m a lesbian it’s not something I hide.”

By now Dailin was not only stunned, she was fuming…

Dailin Roman: “And the fact it happens down here somewhere in Miami, somewhere there is a big LGBT community. It was really appalling, I didn’t expect it to happen it’s never happen to me.”

Howard, Dailin thinks she was blocked from coming into the club because she is a lesbian. Can they do that?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “In most parts of Florida, she could be barred because of her sexuality but not in Miami-Dade and Broward because there is a local law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression … but every business has a right to have their own dress code and if you don’t follow that code, you can be barred from entering.”

We spoke to the general manager of the club, El Capo Brickell.

He was aware of Dailin’s complaint. He said the refusal to let her in had nothing to do with her sexual preference. In fact, he says one of the owner’s of the club is a lesbian.

He says Dailin was barred because of her shoes; that they have a promoter on Saturday nights who requires heels because they “like to class up the place.”

In fact, online there are a lot of complaints from people about their strict dress code, but while Howard says they can bar someone from coming in with sneakers, clubs need to be careful.

Howard Finkelstein: “If someone has to wear tennis shoes because of a disability or an injury, they cannot be blocked because of the dress code. If that happens to you, tell them you have a disability. If they won’t let you in, contact the county, state or federal government.”

The club says it was her shoes. Dailin says, no it was her sexual preference.

Dailin Roman: “The only thing that I want to get out is that this should not happen. Should not happen to me, should not happen to the next person, should not happen period, down here or anywhere.”

I am surprised to find out someone can be blocked from a business in most parts of Florida becuase of their sexual preference. Not in Dade and Broward as Howard said, but in many parts of Florida and the United States. The things you learn on Help Me Howard…

Got someone walking all over you? Ready to give them the boot? Sneak over to us. Our preference is simple … get off on the right foot and address your problem.

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser 7News.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

Copyright 2017 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.