A Superior Court judge granted a motion for a preliminary injunction, filed by the QSpot LGBT Community Center in November, to protect the center from eviction while a pending discrimination lawsuit against their landlord, Jersey Shore Arts Center, moves forward
Following a hearing April 4 Superior Court Judge Dennis O’Brien granted the motion. The judge denied a request made by the arts center, located in Ocean Grove, to dismiss the discrimination case.
In November, QSpot filed a discrimination lawsuit claiming that the JSAC acted with bias towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community when it did not renew QSpot’s lease at the JSAC (which expired in December). JSAC said that QSpot wasn’t qualified to be a tenant because the center allegedly didn’t provide arts programs.
According to the lawsuit, JSAC’s actions are a violation of NJ’s Law Against Discrimination, which protects tenants from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. QSpot had requested in November that the court grant a preliminary injunction to protect the community center pending further proceedings on the discrimination claim. That request was granted by the court this week.
The court also granted QSpot’s application for a temporary restraining order permitting the QFest LGBT Film & Digital Media Festival to take place at QSpot’s location in Ocean Grove this weekend, April 7-9.
“We’re grateful that the court granted QSpot’s request which will allow us to stay in our home and hold QFest while our discrimination case against the Jersey Shore Arts Center proceeds forward,” said John Mikytuck, QSpot Executive Director. “We want to assure everyone in the community that QSpot will remain open and accessible as a safe haven, place of support, and a social and cultural gathering spot until our lawsuit has concluded.”