Oregon’s state appeals court upheld a ruling Wednesday that a Portland bar owner violated civil-rights laws when he denied service to a group of transgender and gay customers. The appeals court upheld the 2013 ruling by Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries, which said owner Christopher Penner flouted a state statute that prohibits private businesses from discrimination based on sexual orientation. After the initial ruling, Penner paid $400,000 in damages and ended up closing his bar last year, his lawyer said. The court dismissed Penner’s argument that the group’s presence would damage his business and also that his free-speech rights had been violated.
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