Kokua Line


Kokua Line

By June Watanabe



Tuesday, February 9, 1999


Clubs, bars can restrict
access based on age

My 22-year-old friend and I were at Ocean Club at Restaurant Row recently and she was denied entry because they set the entry age minimum at 23. Isn't this a violation of the law? Isn't this age discrimination? I feel someone who is legally allowed to drink in any bar or club in the United States should not be denied access. How can they get away with this?

Because it's not unlawful to have restrictions based on age in places of public accommodation, said William Hoshijo, executive director of the state Civil Rights Commission.

While discrimination based on age is prohibited in employment, that's not the case when it comes to places where people may congregate. The public accommodations law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, ancestry or disability, but not on age, Hoshijo said.

He noted the question also comes up in relation to senior citizen's discounts, children's admission fees, student fees, etc. But "those kinds of age-based discounts or admission criteria are not covered under our state law," he said.

Along these lines, people periodically also question whether kamaaina discount rates are discriminatory, Hoshijo said.

"Again, residency is not protected under the law -- there is no prohibition on discrimination based on residency, so it's not unlawful to have that kind of kamaaina special (rate)," he said.

Tapa

What are the laws regarding public nudity? My neighbor was taking pictures of a nude young lady in back of his property, which is completely exposed to Hawaii Kai Towne Centre, as well as anyone boating in the Kuapa Pond area going out to the ocean. I told him I thought this was rather inappropriate, and he said it was perfectly legal, and there was no law against this. I'm not talking about just a little flash, but top and bottom of bathing suit off and provocative poses.

We had a similar complaint last summer, about a young woman being photographed nude on the lanai of a house along the beach near Haleiwa. The word from the Honolulu Police Department was to call 911 for an officer to "assess the situation."

Because the woman in that case could be seen by the public, there possibly could have been a charge of indecent exposure, an HPD spokeswoman said.

Chapter 707-734 of the Hawaii Penal Code defines indecent exposure this way: "A person commits the offense of indecent exposure if the person intentionally exposes the person's genitals to a person to whom the person is not married under circumstances in which the actor's conduct is likely to cause affront."

In 1991, the state Legislature changed Chapter 707-734 from being "sexual assault in the fifth degree" to indecent exposure "to deal with behavior such as nude sunbathing or streaking, which is likely to be an affront to a substantial part of the community."

Indecent exposure is a petty misdemeanor.

Tapa

Mahalo

To Boy Scout Troop 488 for recently cleaning Kilinoe Street in Newtown for about the fifth time. They got rubbish out of the gully and off the street and piled it up to be carried away. They really made my neighborhood enjoyable and comfortable and most of the boys don't even live on street. -- Mary A.

Tapa

Mahalo

To Dennis; a lady from the Chevron Station; the security guard; and all the other people who came to my aid when I was in a motorcycle accident on North King Street at Richard Lane the night of Jan. 7. Thank you and God bless you all. -- Ken





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