An Iowa House Committee voted 13 to 9 Wednesday to prohibit bars and nightclubs from barring people that wear certain brands of clothing. Democratic Representative Wayne Ford of Des Moines says the practice is a form of discrimination because the brands are typically worn by minorities.
Ford introduced similar legislation eight years ago but could’ get it passed. He says the outcome of the Iowa Caucuses encouraged him to try again. "If the state can send a black man to the White House, then we also can look at what happens here," Ford said. "So, I’m glad that we’re beginning to look at things differently."
The baby boomers says the issue reminds him of his own clubbing days in the late 60s and early 70s. "When I would be dancing on the floor, they would put cowboy music on, and we would stop dancing because it was time for us to get the hell out of the building," Ford said. "Any black person in the midwest, who had been at all white nightclubs when they were young, knows exactly what I’m talking about."
A representative from the National Conference on State Legislatures says this appears to be the first bill of this kind. Ford says his bill would not prevent businesses from adopting dress codes for their employees, but it would prevent them from singling out certain brands of clothing. The measure now goes to the full house for further debate.