VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a bar owner over his policy of barring people who wear their hair in cornrows, dreadlocks or twists.
In a federal lawsuit, the Virginia chapter of the ACLU says the Kokoamos Island Bar, Grill and Yacht Club's policy amounts to racial discrimination because it singles out hairstyles usually worn by black customers.
The group filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court against Kokoamos owner Barry Davis on behalf of Myron Evans and Kimberley Hines.
Evans was denied entry in June and Hines was turned way in August, an ACLU statement said.
Hines was with three white friends and was told she would not be allowed into the bar because of her dreadlocks, the statement said. Evans was with a group of 10 friends and was also turned away for the same reason, the ACLU said.
The ACLU sent a letter to Davis in October, telling him that his policy violates the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 — which prohibits public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of race.
Davis declined to take action, ACLU's statement said.
Davis could not immediately be reached Thursday.