A Pasadena bar openly defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s order for all bars to remain closed due to skyrocketing COVID-19 cases by hosting a “Texas Bars Fight Back Rally” this weekend.
It was a shocking scene on Sunday at Chuters Dance Hall & Saloon in Pasadena; a dance floor full of patrons – many not wearing masks – danced to a live band as the alcohol flowed, breaking several COVID-19 state health protocols.
“I believe everyone has the right to work for a living, and I believe they have a right to be open like any other business,” patron Kristina Reff told the Houston Chronicle.
Following a major increase in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Abbott halted the state’s reopening plan on June 25 and a day later closed down bars again. That same day, Harris County was placed under a stay-home advisory after reaching the highest possible COVID-19 threat level.
The owners of the Pasadena bar, Chris and Helen Bergeron, first made headlines in late June when they organized a peaceful protest at the Texas Capitol requesting Abbott reopen bars.
“It doesn’t make no sense whatsoever and it’s totally discrimination is all it is,” Chris Bergeron told MySanAntonio.com. “I’m not sure why they are picking on us … I don’t know what (the governor’s) reasons are, but it’s wrong. It’s completely wrong. It’s totally against our constitutional right.”
Other bar owners have responded with lawsuits. A few days after bars were ordered to close their doors again, 22 Texas bar owners sued Abbott and argued the shutdown “unconstitutionally bypasses the state legislature” and specifically negatively impacts bar employees’ wellbeing, the Washington Post reported.
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