DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The owner of a gay nightclub in Durham said she will be hiring security to keep the business’ patrons safe in the wake of the Orlando terror attack.
Renee Batchelor, who owns The Bar, said hiring security isn’t something you want to do but now she feels like she must.
“I thought to myself, ‘do I do everything I can to protect every person who walks in this door?’ The answer would be ‘no,’” she said.
She said it is time for a change following the events early Sunday in Orlando.
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“It’s not something you want to do. It’s not something you like to do, but with what happened, I don’t have a choice,” Batchelor said.
She has owned The Bar since 2011.
Batchelor said the club isn’t just a bar for gay people in Durham but a place they come to feel welcomed and protected.
“This is their home. This is where they come every day to share what happened in their day, what’s going on in their life,” she said.
She wants that sense of protection to stick around.
Although the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history happened at a gay nightclub, Batchelor said there’s no stopping her.
“No one, no group, no organization is going to tell me what I can and cannot do and instill fear in me to stop doing what I’m doing. It’s not going to happen,” she said.
Batchelor said one of the hardest parts of watching the news about Orlando was realizing it could have happened at The Bar.