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Controversial bar closes after state seizes accounts

by: KOIN NEWS 6 - The Twilight Room Annex bar was forced to close after the Department of Justice seized the accounts of the business and its owner.A local bar owner who asked a group of cross-dressing and transgender people not to return closed the bar for good on Saturday.

The owner, Chris Penner, said he was forced to close the Twilight Room Annex in North Portland because the Department of Justice (DOJ) seized his business and personal accounts.

“There’s no way I can keep the business open with the DOJ randomly seizing the money in the accounts,” said Penner.

The accounts were seized because of the Bureau of Labor and Industry’s $400,000 fine that Penner was ordered to pay last August to the group of cross-dressing and transgender people he asked not to return for violating the Oregon Equality Act.

While Penner and his attorney are appealing the judgment, they did not ask the court of appeals to halt enforcement, resulting in the seizure of Penner’s accounts late last week.

Local Penner said five people are now out of work because of the ruling.