Reports that a Fort Worth, Texas gay
bar was raided on Saturday have left gay activists angry as police
remain quiet on specifics.
Gay weekly the
Dallas Voice was first to report on the raid that occurred
Saturday night at the Rainbow Lounge, located at 615 S. Jennings
The Fort Worth police have not
commented on the specifics of the raid, but a Texas Alcoholic
Beverage Commission spokeswoman, Carolyn Beck, confirmed to a Dallas
Observer reporter, Robert Wilonsky, that TABC agents were on
“There were TABC agents there, but
other than that I don't know anything,” she said.
According to emails published by the
Dallas Voice, the police appeared unannounced with paddy
wagons in tow. Several people at the bar told the paper that the
officers abused patrons. Another report indicates that one man has
been hospitalized after suffering critical injuries during the raid.
“They [police officers] asked this
guy if he had been drinking, and he said 'some', and they snidely
replied, 'Well, we'll see how much!' and plastic handcuffed him as
they read him his rights,” Kayla Lane, an eye witness wrote in one
of the emails. “It was utterly repugnant."
“This looked like random harassment,
plain and simple,” wrote Todd Camp in another email. “It's sad
that in this day and age, on the anniversary of one of the most
important days in gay rights history that the Fort Worth and State
police would choose to attack gays in such an aggressive and
The raid comes on the day most people
recognize as the birth of the modern gay rights movement, June 28.
In 1969, the patrons of Greenwich Village's Stonewall Inn revolted
against an aggressive New York City police department. For five
days, thousands joined in protesting against police who often raided
gay bars. Stonewall has become synonymous with gay rights.
“After more than a generation of
progress, this action shows that there is still much work to be done
to ensure that all Americans enjoy equal protection under the law,”
said Rev. Michael Piazza, Dean of the Cathedral of Hope, known as the
world's largest GLBT church, in a statement. “It is tragic that
lesbian and gay taxpayers are still abused by the very people who are
paid by our taxes.”