IsBadlandsBad? Campaign

At long last, we’re pleased to announce that on January 17, 2006 a mediation agreement was signed between SFBadlands bar owner Les Natali, the complainants and And Castro For All. The details are confidential, as is often the case in mediated disputes, but we’re relieved to say that all parties have finally achieved resolution.

Now that this historic chapter in the struggle for civil rights in San Francisco’s LGBT community has concluded, And Castro For All looks forward to rolling up its sleeves and working on the longterm project of helping the Castro live up to its promise as a welcoming and inclusive place for all people.

About the Project

And Castro For All began as ‘IsBadlandsBad?’, a group aspiring to uphold the values that the Castro should represent to each of us and the rest of the world—diversity, inclusion, justice, and prosperity—by combatting discrimination in Castro neighborhood establishments. ‘IsBadlandsBad?’ launched in the summer of 2004 when organizers held multiple press conferences to share reports from witnesses, patrons, and former employees alleging (1) that Les Natali, the owner of SFBadlands and Detour bars, had been encouraging his staff to implement unfair and illegal practices in an effort to bar African Americans and others; (2) that, on multiple occasions, African American patrons, Latinos, women, and other individuals had been subjected to discriminatory and illegal treatment, ranging from discrimination at the door to expulsion without cause; and (3) that, given the composition of his 100% male and overwhelmingly White, 40-plus person workforce, it was highly likely that he was engaging in discriminatory hiring practices.

As a result of diligent awareness raising and advocacy by IsBadlandsBad complainants and volunteers, and community leaders, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) conducted its first-ever investigation into charges of race-based discrimination in an establishment under its watch. The ABC did not revoke SFBadlands’ license, but it found sufficient evidence of discrimination to impose conditions on the Pendulum license transfer.

Likewise, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC) conducted its longest ever, 10-month investigation of the allegations in testimonies provided by over 20 individuals, finding the charges substantial. In April 2005 it issued its findings, confirming that Natali discriminated against both patrons and employees on the basis of race.

The IsBadlandsBad campaign successfully pursued three goals: First, to seek justice for SFBadlands and Detour owner Les Natali’s purportedly unjust and illegal practices; second, to create a greater public awareness of recourses available to those who experience discrimination in the Castro and elsewhere; and third – perhaps most importantly – to spur greater dialogue about issues of diversity, inclusion, and discrimination within the Bay Area LGBT community.

For more about the the IsBadlandsBad? Campaign, visit our Newsroom or our Archives.