Nightclubs and bars in Iowa will soon get a warning in the mail about holding special “Ladies Night” promotions. Lynn Walding, the Administrator of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, says the promotions offer free drinks or drink specials for women.He says the assumption is that with women in the establishments — men will soon follow and buy drinks. Walding says the promotions have become popular in the Des Moines suburbs and apparently have attracted good crowds. He says when one establishment offers the promotion, others seem to follow, but Walding says a 1988 Iowa Supreme Court decision determined the “Ladies Nights” specials violate Iowa Civil Rights laws on accommodation. He says the specials are demeaning to women, discriminatory to men, and contrary to Iowa law. He says the Alcoholic Beverages Commission plans to issue a notice to those who serve alcohol.Walding says establishments that continue to offer Ladies Nights could face action by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission — and his agency could yank their liquor license. Walding says the commission decided to take action after an inquiry by the program coordinator for substance abuse at Iowa State University.
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