In a way, longtime gay rights activist Cleve Jones — yep, that Cleve Jones — just kind of gave Prohibition, Resorts Atlantic City‘s gay nightclub, the most press they will ever get. The club — which touts itself as the the first LGBT venue in an Atlantic City casino ever (we’re sure the gays were like, “Ohhhhhh, thanks”) — opened on May 13th with not a lot of fanfare. But Jones has found that Resorts reaching out to a gay audience at all turns out to be some pretty fuh-laming hypocrisy. Here’s his press release from earlier this morning:
(Atlantic City, NJ)—In a letter to gay politicians, religious leaders, community centers, and activists on the East Coast, longtime human rights activist Cleve Jones announced a major new campaign against Resorts Casino Atlantic City and its owners for anti-gay rights, anti-women and anti-worker positions.
“Being an ally means more than flying a [rainbow] flag and trying to cash in on an untapped source of income. Being an ally means supporting our community in fights that are important to us, like fighting for marriage equality, ending sexism, and ensuring workers are paid fairly,” wrote Jones.
The letter cites several examples of anti-gay, anti-women and anti-worker behavior from the casino and its owners, including:
· Resorts owner, Morris Bailey, and his family have donated $100,000 over the past 6 years to New York politicians who oppose gay rights legislation.
· The new owners refused to rehire 60% of long-term cocktail waitresses who had an average age of 48 after making them pose for photos in a skimpy new uniform.
· Management created a game called Chick-Tac-Toe where patrons are told “beat the chick and pocket $5,000. It’s that easy—if you are smarter than a bimbo.”
· New owners enacted devastating wage cuts on long-term employees–the average pay cut was 40%. For example, housekeepers with more than eight years experience were cut from almost $30,000 a year to under $20,000.
“The LGBT community and organized Labor have worked together since the days when Harvey Milk and the Teamsters boycotted Coors because of both anti-union and anti-gay practices. What’s happening at Resorts with the anti-gay, anti-worker and anti-women practices needs to be condemned by all people of conscience,” said Jones.
“All LGBT people should be outraged at the cynical hypocrisy of attempting to profit from the LGBT community, while supporting politicians who oppose LGBT rights, at its blatant sexism and its disregard for the working people who have spent a career working at the casino,” said Jones.
Jones is right: Not only is this place corny and cheesy as all get out, it’s also infuriatingly fucked up. Then again, so is Atlantic City itself.