Comments

  1. Oppressed American says

    I don’t understand. You can’t be in a bar drinking, where it’s leagal, and be intoxicated? Were they disorderly? Why did the police enter the bar?

  2. Bill says

    Haterosexuals. Haterosexuals. GODDAMN haterosexuals.

    You can bet these haterosexual male cops sat together and decided to arrest a few gay men to up the gay quotient in jail and add a few dollars to the police department.

    Haterosexuality and systematic discrimination are connected.

  3. Rafael says

    It looks like this happened in Dallas where there is a large and established LGBT community. I’m not familiar with this lounge, but I know that after 2am they have to stop serving alcohol, perhaps it is this particular law what the police used to carryout their abuse. Regardless of their justification, this shouldn’t happen anywhere and I hope the local police department gets served with law suits from all the parties involved.

  4. Zo says

    an a heterosexual woman was also trampled by a police horse during the gay pride parade in Houston last night with the police justifying it as “police doing their job” because she didn’t move fast enough out of their way.

  5. Kathy says

    This happened in Fort Worth near the southside historic district. There is a smaller LGBT community in Fort Worth than Dallas but we are vocal and will demand answers.

  6. Marlin Bynum says

    I have been reading several articles and postings on this. It seems that they came in looking for people who were drunk (public intoxication.) I can’t believe it is illegal to be drunk in a bar. The excuse is that they might drive home drunk. I take it now that it is illegal to be drunk in Texas anywhere.

    Here is a link to the Fort Worth Star Telegram retelling of the story. Remember this is a conservative town and this is a conservative paper.

    http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/1458523.html

  7. iyon says

    Hi there…

    I’m reading you in Leipzig, Germany, and I think it’s great that Towleroad is picking up this story.

    Just wanna share some thoughts with you that I had reading about the Texas arrests.

    I find the in-depth account on the incident very very disturbing. Thanks for providing the link to the dailykos.com post!

    I’m just in from a night on the town with my buddies, and during the course of the evening we had a conversation about police violence.

    Police violence that each of us has witnessed at some point: Here in East Germany, when we were kids back in the 80s, under the Communists. (We were around 15 at the time.)

    Reading about the arrests in Texas and having in mind our conversation that we had about supression 20 years back, before liberty was won,

    Made me think:

    We have achieved a lot since 1969 and 1989, and there is so much to be proud of.

    And there is much more to be won in our common struggle:

    The freedom to be who we are. Equality. And every human being’s dignity in a peaceful world.

    Iyon in Germany, 32

  8. Marlin Bynum says

    Elizabeth Pax (One of the organizers for the Million Gay March in Dallas, Texas today) reports:

    from what I heard…

    it was suppose to be a standard thing where 1 TABC and 1 police officer checked some stuff out. instead 6 TABC and 6 Police came in and went nuts. They were rough with the patrons and arresting people for no reason.

    The FT Worth police chief has issued an apology and has said that the offending officers are going to be disciplined.

  9. David Tucker says

    I urge everyone to contact the governor’s office and demand an investigation. Also, write editorials in every newspaper in your area. If you sit silently by, you are as guilty as the officers who perpretrated these hate crimes.

  10. Bayley says

    I hope EVERY gay person who lives within an hour of that bar PROTESTS, emails, calls, writes and shows their opposition. IT’S TIME TO FIGHT. Get off your asses unless you want this treatment to continue.

    Writing our sassy zingers on a blog does………nothing. Actually getting out there, outside of our Weho comfort zones is where progress is made. The real kind.

  11. gay TX attorney says

    A couple of thoughts:

    1. This is outrageous. You would think this happened in 1969, instead of on the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.

    2. What the police did was perfectly legal.

    Under sec. 49.02 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits “the offense of public intoxication if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another. For the purposes of this section, a premises licensed or permitted under the Alcoholic Beverage Code is a public place.”

    Since the newly opened Rainbow Lounge is licensed by TABC, it is a public place.

    The only debatable point is whether the arrestees were intoxicated to the degree that they might endanger someone, but I assure you that police have incredible discretion in these matters. Even if an arrestee is later found to have low blood alcohol content (and not intoxicated), the arresting officers still would have had probable cause since the arrestee was in a bar and presumably drinking something alcoholic.

    3. Sexual orientation isn’t a protected class in Texas, so while it may suck that the gay bar was singled out, it wasn’t illegal. I doubt there is a city ordinance that covers this sort of thing.

    4. This has yet to be covered by the Dallas Morning News, the larger newspaper in the region. I see that the Star-Telegram and Dallas Voice picked the story up. I’m not holding my breath; DMN is a crappy paper.

    5. Happy Pride?

  12. gay TX attorney says

    6. Now reading some stories about a patron who was injured and hospitalized. He might have a claim for excessive force, but he’d still have to show the officer’s actions were “objectively unreasonable.” This is a hard standard to meet.

  13. Will says

    I believe this is an extremely new bar that just opened in Ft Worth (and it might have been their opening weekend). There are few gay bars in Ft Worth. And it would not surprise me that this bar was a target for police action. I did pass thru town and saw some media trucks around the courthouse – the site of a planned protest tonite.

  14. says

    GAY TX ATTORNEY: There are eyewitness reports – sober ones – that said the force was excessive. The Dallas Voice is saying the poor injured guy is still critical, with bleeding on the brain. There may not even be a claim for excessive force if he ends up dead tomorrow.

    I’ve been following this since about 3pm, and it gets more disturbing with each twist and turn. The police statement contradicts virtually everyone else’s statements. It’s just not good.

  15. Nicholas says

    gah! thankyou so much for covering this story, because nobody else seems to! I’ve only been able to find it in the Star-Telegram and the Dallas Voice, which is very disappointing. i’m fucking pissed, to say the least. where are the riots? there was only a twenty minute protest in ft. worth tonight, and that’s it? what the hell, dallas morning news? this is a big story. Especially considering on what day it happened. i didn’t get a chance to go to the million gay march in dallas today, but hopefully this issue was present there, and there’ll be a larger turnout at the protest this sunday in ft. worth.

  16. Cj says

    I’ve asked this before, and I’ll ask it again, with Texas’ anti-homosexual history and laws (not to mention the political families that Texas has spewed out), why is there a large gay population in Texas??? I have seen more and more homosexual friends move to Texas, and I find it bewildering. I realize in order for progress to be made, there shouldn’t be a mass exodus and we should stand up and fight. Yet at what cost? More hate crimes against homosexuals and other minorities occur in Texas than any other state (from the statistics and passing news I have read), why the hell are we increasingly moving to a state that does not want us? Fuck Texas, I won’t set foot in that state and it won’t get a penny of my money. Fuck Texas.

  17. Stephen says

    Considering this isn’t being covered my any major news outlets I am just now finding out about this. I actually live about twenty minutes away and was in that part of town earlier and hadn’t heard a thing. This a very new bar as me and my partner has never heard of it so no suprise that it was targeted. I will be paying more attention to the local small news and report anything I hear or find. Thanks Towleroad!

  18. says

    CJ: I can certainly understand your thought process; although I vehemently disagree. I refuse to let Conservative Christian lawmakers control where I live. Here in South Florida, there is a huge gay community. This community is here in spite of numerous laws that attempt to take away our Constitutional rights.

    Like it or not, there are few places that are utopia for the LGBT community. California used to be viewed as a bastian of progressivism. Even New York City, which is cosmopolitan, has gay bashing, as shown with an article today on this site. If we don’t fight for equal rights in every corner of this country, we might as well give up the fight.

    (Please note, I’m not trying to discredit your post, CJ. I firmly believe you are entitled to your opinion…and, I certainly understand your point of view. I just wanted to offer a constrasting opinion.)

  19. Cj says

    Alex, I agree with you, except more anti-homosexual behavior has existed in Texas, and at the hands of law enforcement. This is much more apparent today.

  20. Jeff says

    Welcome to Texas. I lived there for 8 of the longest months of my life last year. It is an absolutely horrible place to live, especially if your gay. The day I left that place was the happiest day of my life. I was so relieved to be leaving. I hope and pray I never have to step foot in that place again. This just reinforces it.

  21. RONTEX says

    Yeah, I agree that this sucks big time but what is with all the Texas bashing? These incidents have been happening at an alarming rate all over the country, especially NY from what I’ve seen on Towleroad.

    This isn’t a perfect state by a long shot but there are a lot of really great people here (especially Austin) but we don’t deserve all of these gross generalizations (didn’t vote for Bush but hell, California gave us Reagan).

  22. says

    I’m going to have to agree with RonTex. Born and raised in Texas, I can honestly say it isn’t any different than any other state. Austin is a very progressive city and a fabulous place to live. Houston and Dallas both have HUGE and well integrated gay populations. Forth-Worth is actually a great city, albeit more conservative than Dallas. Your biggest issues are when you head out to east and west Texas, areas I highly recommend you avoid. I’ve lived in Atlanta for the past nine years and while I love it here, Houston and Dallas are more gay friendly. That’s a fact. Living in Texas for 8 months doesn’t really tell the whole story and I’d be hesitant to talk about anyplace with little or no facts to back it up.

  23. tim says

    hmm-mm. i live in Houston…and the only violence that i am aware is the trampling of a bystander..by a horse with the Houston Mounted Police. The mounted patrol was walking along side the parade route to keep the public behind the ‘fencing’. Read about it in this from the Houston Chronicle.:
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6501652.html
    what i find odd (is that the right word?) is the lack of news coverage for the parade itself.
    Virtually ‘zilch’ was written or photographed about the Houston Pride Parade. (very minimal coverage) Why? There were literally 10’s of thousands of gay and straight bystanders/
    participants including the mayor, various councilmen, current comptroller, Anise Parker—an out Lesbian—who by the way is running for Houston’s mayor..…none of this was mentioned….
    fyi..i emailed the above article to Towleroad mid Sunday afternoon.
    Oops! forgot about this 1:13 video
    http://www.chron.com/common/special/07/templates/listpop.html?mcVideo=27829732001

  24. says

    For what it’s worth, I was in a Dallas Pizza restaurant Saturday night and when one of my friends ordered a glass of wine, the waitress was careful to check his ID even though he’s over 40. She explained that TABC had been in the area lately making unannounced visits to restaurants, checking every detail down to giving breath tests to bartenders. This whole thing appears to be part of a major crackdown (on what?) or self-justification exercise, depending on your point of view.

  25. kujhawker says

    Is it really going to take another stonewall, another time where gay rise up and act violently to get the point across that this is not acceptable?

  26. Dastius says

    Texas considers being drunk inside a bar, where the business is to sell alcohol, to be “public’ intoxication and illegal? I’d like to know how many times and how often the Texas state police have raided other bars, and treated the patrons the same way.

  27. Chris G says

    Is media coverage starting to pick up on this story? You would think that the comparison to Stonewall would make this story appealing. CNN and others have been talking about Stonewall a lot this weekend. I don’t see it on CNN.com yet. My next email is to CNN.

  28. Wayne says

    I’m glad you left Jeff, we don’t need you! How can any of you pretend to stand for equality but refuse to live or visit a place that needs us so desperately? Texas is a wonderful state, I’ve lived here most of my life. Austin and Dallas are extremely progressive (Austin is the only county in the state with a domestic partnership policy and Dallas has a Lesbian Sherrif and a gay Mayor) and every state in the country has issues with hate. Your generalizations and bashing are one of the reasons issues like this continue. You don’t want to be generalized and stereotyped so please don’t do it to others. I love Texas, I’ll remain in Texas, and I’ll fight for my equality and freedom because obviously you won’t help. By the way, what utopia do you now live in Jeff?

  29. Continuum says

    Dallas has one of the larger gay populations in the United States. Despite being smack dab in the middle of the bible belt, Dallas is fairly open regarding gay residents. In the last mayoral election, a viable gay candidate almost won. Likewise, the constable of Dallas county is a lesbian. Gay councilman have been elected for years. During gay pride the straight mayor and many councilman participate. Similarly open messages are present in Ft Worth. The gay scene in Dallas is vibrant and open. It’s a 1000 times better than most other cities. Ft Worth is a smaller city, and a tad behind Dallas, but not by much.

  30. NickC says

    This is not to excuse or minimize in any way what the Fort Worth police did at this bar. However, about a year ago I read an article (I can’t remember the publication) about police in Dallas posting undercover officers in downtown hotel bars and arresting guests for having too much to drink. Those arrested were people staying in the hotel, who were not going to be driving anywhere–they were just having a few drinks before going to their rooms. The article was a warning to business travelers about the over-enforcement of the Texas “public drunkeness” law.

    So it’s not just the gays who get targeted by crazy Texas cops.

    I’m originally from Texas myself. But I can’t stand to set foot in the state.

  31. David B. 2 says

    statistically, more gay men die in Texas annually than in any other state in the nation… time for an FBI investigation of law enforcement.

    As to the raid, I suspect someone did not pay their protection money to the local police force … could that have happened? Oh yeah I think so.. podunk police suck!

  32. Scott says

    it’s of no surprise that the gay bashing and other events are becoming more and more frequent. Look at the last few months? California shot down their gay marriage initiative and all these other states are approving gay marriage, is it no surprise that states in the bible belt want to shut this behavior off. Now. You want change, real change? Be prepared to fight for it… I don’t mean stand in front of a courthouse and chant, I mean a fight, a bareknuckled and bloody fight for your rights. And this goes for people of different races as well… This is not just about us gay folks out there. This is about everyone who is not white, or christian, or what passes for a ‘normal’ American. It’s time to stop blogging, stop demonstrating, stop whining and start fighting back.
    demonstrations and blogs did not create America… revolutionaries with guns and ideals did. Where has that spirit gone? We have become a nation that is quietly become a police state… at every turn there are the police and they can bust your face just because they don’t like the way you look. They are above the very law we entrusted them to uphold.
    Why isn’t anyone as pissed off as I am?

  33. anon says

    The law was controversial, and seems to be a money raiser for local police, particularly after they stopped traffic cameras from handing out tickets.

  34. says

    The TABC is pretty ruthless in TX. Several years ago, a female coworker of mine was arrested on the spot for failing to check the ID of an underage decoy buying a 6 pack of beer.

    If the Fort Worth police want to do something useful, why not bust all these drunk drivers out and about every day?

    It seems like every few weeks, a drunk rams his vehicle into a person helping a stranded driver and kills everyone at the scene. It’s like there’s some kind of roadside good samaratin magnetism that these drunk drivers around here have.

    And now that Arlington has the brand new stadium, the DUI’s and manslaughter is going to rise in the DFW area big time.

    But harassing the gays is MUCH more important!

  35. raf says

    NickC, I don’t think it’s a question of whether Texas police are only targeting gays — as you know TABC is notorious in the state for over-enforcing any alcohol-related laws. But at issue is the idea that the “raids” in the non-gay bars weren’t raids, they were simple routine checks, and that those arrests weren’t violent and didn’t leave someone with brain injuries.

    It’s hard to condemn without knowing more and being absolutely sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out that a group of Texas police officers have a cavalier attitude towards the safety of a bunch of gays.

  36. John in Boston says

    I believe the Texas cops are practicing what’s known as ‘revenue enhancement’….that is, it brings in dollars.

    Well that’s one weird ass law for sure, but some on here are giving Texas a bad rap; I’ve visited multiple time, been to Dallas and Houston for business and pleasure, and have close friends and family living there. It’s ridiculous to paint with a broad brush, and many folks need to grow up.

    BTW: I witnessed recently a harsh gay bashing in of all places Cambridge/Boston, just blocks from Harvard. A local white kid and spanish kid jumped a obviously gay student, although I have to say it wasn’t entirely a gay bashing because the gay kid was acting obnoxiously beforehand and was kinda asking for trouble. But if it happens in Cambridge, one of heartlands of ‘progressive’ America, you can get jumped anywhere.

  37. Michael in Fort Worth says

    I’ve lived in Fort Worth for a little over 10 years with my partner.

    The gay community here is very small and not well organized. Our poor pride parade usually only has about a 1/2 dozen floats and lasts about 45 minutes, so it’s difficult for us to fight oppression when we are so small.

    I applaud those who wish to speak out loudly against this most greivious of happenings, but we need the support of our neighboors, friends, brothers and sisters to help fight.

    Gay bars in Fort Worth have never been very upscale because the (very) rich and (overly) conservative business associations refuse to let a gay bar/club operate anywhere near the precious Downtown area. We are relegated to the less affluent suburbs or the poorer parts of the city away from the tourists.

    I recall that the last time someone tried to open a gay-friendly or centric bar in the Downtown area as having been told not to advertise it as a gay bar or else they would not get their liquor license.

    The Good Ol’ Boy system is alive and well in Fort Worth. Remember that when your kid wants to go to TCU.

  38. Nick says

    This not only pisses me off, it weirds me out. I’ve lived in Ft. Worth most of my life. I’m out, married to my husband, and I’ve never had any issue with anyone. The cops in Ft. Worth are notoriously nice…until this bullshit. Our first openly gay city councilman, Joel Burns, issued a pretty strong statement, and when he mentioned the state legislature, I assume he meant State Senator Wendy Davis, who is definitely on our side. I just hope they can bring the hammer down and remind people that we won’t put up with this crap. I’m sick of Dallas queens saying stuff like “That’s why we never go to Ft. Worth…” You don’t get progress by ignoring a city that 20 minutes away but has no gay life to speak of. You make progress by helping to establish it there. Ok, rant over. Love your site, Andy! Thank you for covering this, it was the first I heard of it!

  39. johnnydallas says

    Well said, RonTex. I’ve lived here most of my life and feel just as comfortable here in Dallas being an openly gay man as I did in Atlanta or Florida.

    @GayTxAttorney … Try doing a little bit of legwork before spouting off. The raid was on the DMN’s website Sunday before noon, and a story was in the next day’s paper.

  40. mike says

    I have yet to see this story in the MSM whether print or broadcast. Maybe I’ve missed it. Texas does have an odd law that bars can serve liquor but the patrons cannot be drunk and can be arrested. However, when I lived in Texas I was always told that you didn’t worry until you left the bar, not while you’re still in it. Fort Worth is not as, um, shall we say, “liberal” as Dallas (which in the scheme of things would be considered “conservative” by any stretch of the imagination) and is largely an evangelical town that looks on its sister city, Dallas, as a modern-day Gomorrah. There is probably a back story to this, I’m sure. This is an example of the heterosexual tyranny’s last stand. One wonders if any “straight” bars were raided the same night for the same thing. One also wonders, without taking sobriety tests, how the cops knew which individual was intoxicated and just what does Texas law consider “public intoxication”. Was anyone arrested who was not “publicly-intoxicated”? One hopes that this story stays on the front burner. Thanks to this wonderful website for reporting on it. This story is an example of why we need a federal law to stop anti-GLBT violence. It’s been 40 years(!) since Stonewall, but in many places it might as well never have happened. The struggle goes on.

  41. scott says

    in this day and age with america being the “land of the free” all i can say is that we should vote with our feet and our money. These people underestimate the power of the pink dollar”excuse me but i am from england” after reading this item i doube that me and my partner will ever set foot in Texas again. So come on all you gay guys and girls show your support to this cause and let the powers that be know that we as a world wide gay movment will not put up with this sort of behaviour in this day and age. Show your support I know if we were in the states and in texas we would

  42. Lord Potts says

    This story is like something that happened
    35 or 40 years ago. What is wrong with people in Fort Worth? A raid on a gay bar? WTF? I am from Canada but how can your country condone actions like this by it’s police authority How can any self respecting police authority maintain any credibility through such actions?
    This is just a shame that people in the world’s greatest democracy, a country which holds itself out to the world as the land of the free, subjects its people to such an atrocity. Drunk or not, we all know the real reason for this bigoted raid. What a disgrace.

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