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Cathedral City Police Raid Barracks Bar on Closing Night of Leather Pride Weekend: VIDEO


Barracks Bar in Palm Springs was raided by police last night during a beer bust for Palm Springs Leather Pride, which was happening this weekend.

CcpdLeatherati writes:

Breaking news...we just received a text indicating the Barracks Bar in Cathedral City, CA was shut down this afternoon by the local police department for "capacity" issues. The closure came during one of the busiest Sunday beer busts of the year with the town crowded with attendees to Palm Springs Leather Pride. The Barracks has had ongoing difficulties with the Cathedral City police department over capacity issues and displayIng porn in the bar. We'll update as we get more info.

A video posted online supports Leatherati's claim. As of yet, we have heard of no reported arrests.


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  1. They shouldn't be displaying porn in the bar. It's a clear breach of the law. So is having more people in the bar than stipulated by your license. These laws are applied to all bars and clubs, and are thus not discriminatory.

    I wouldn't want to walk into an ordinary bar and see porn on their TV sets and neither would many women, I suspect.

    Gay club owners need to stop reinforcing people's impressions of us as sex-mad.

    Posted by: jason | Nov 14, 2011 7:18:53 AM

  2. What Jason said... and I usually don't agree with him on things

    Posted by: RonTEX | Nov 14, 2011 7:28:07 AM

  3. Totally fine with porn shown in bars. But if it is it is illegal in that locality, then all bets are off and the owner is taking the risk of getting busted. Same goes for the capacity issues.

    Posted by: Dwight Supremacy | Nov 14, 2011 7:49:46 AM

  4. The owner must be behind in his payments.

    Posted by: Danny | Nov 14, 2011 8:15:15 AM

  5. I live in Las Vegas and Palm Springs is a frequent weekend destination for us because it's. Everybody goes to the Barracks on Sundays and it's always a parking nightmare followed by being beyond capacity inside. There is always porn on, though that is the theme of the place. There are the dance bars and lounges on Arenas, and then Barracks for leather and bears. Being gay we usually pride ourselves on being past all the victorian views on sex that a lot of people have. I don't clutch my pearls like the first commenter when I see porn. The overcrowding has always been a big problem, but most likely @Danny is right and the owners are just late on their cop protection payments.

    Posted by: MrJ | Nov 14, 2011 9:15:39 AM

  6. For those outside the area... there's NOTHING much going on in Cat City. These guys just have too much time on their hands.

    It's a Leather Bar; it's supposed to be crowded & show porn on the walls. It's not Tavern on the F'n Green, & that's not what people are showing up for!

    Why shouldn't we do EXACTLY what we want whether people like it or not? Do you think if given the choice, they would ONLY regulate what we show on video screens??

    It's total bullshiz; they ought to be happy for the revenue stream in an area that's been decimated by the economic woes.

    The overcrowding, as much as I love it, they'll have to figure that one out. Maybe a temp extension corral at the side lot.

    But don't kid yourselves; it ain't about porn or overcrowding... it's same-old, same old, homophobia.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Nov 14, 2011 9:40:30 AM

  7. Managers please remember to pre pay your local police force prior to your next big bash.
    As for the one drunk shouting Act-UP… how sad .. that was about government and corporate greed and indifference regarding our deaths and suffering, not about capacity issues at Tea. Please cease and desist queen and go get some food.

    Posted by: NE Rich | Nov 14, 2011 9:40:35 AM

  8. "These laws are applied to all bars and clubs, and are thus not discriminatory."

    The LAWS themselves might not be discriminatory, but ENFORCEMENT of those laws can certainly be -- and when it comes to gay bars, very often is. I would be interested to know how many busy straight bars in that area have been repeatedly questioned about their capacity numbers and how many have been visited, fined, or shut down.

    Posted by: sparks | Nov 14, 2011 10:00:12 AM

  9. I dunno. I'd think their capacity for beer would be nearly unlimited.

    As for the porn, there is alas, a confusing mix of first amendment and local zoning ordinance issues that could swing it both ways in court if they wish to fight it. Essentially, in general, the stuff you see inside a bar (a public space) should be comparable to what you could see outside the bar, though the courts haven't always seen it that way because some venues have restricted access. However, it would be long fight through the appeals courts, and I doubt they're too keen to do that.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 14, 2011 10:29:08 AM

  10. @jason

    It's a leather bar not a regular bar. Porn on the walls is not out of line. If you don't want to see that in the bar don't go there.

    The solution to a venue being over capacity is to remove the excess people not shut down the venue.

    Gay club owners aren't re-enfocing anyone's opinion of us. They are business owners and are providing a clientle what they want. Straight club owners do the same.

    Just because you don't agree with the leather gay club scene doesn't mean it should be shut down. We should be standing up for one another. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

    Posted by: Andrew | Nov 14, 2011 10:34:50 AM

  11. This place is a hole. Good, I back the police. Hate establishments that promote bad stereotypes and this one continuously does!

    Posted by: Hank M | Nov 14, 2011 10:50:07 AM

  12. It isn't porn. It is an instructional video.

    Posted by: Big Gay Jason in Topeka | Nov 14, 2011 11:00:35 AM

  13. Not a word about this in this morning's Desert Sun.

    I had to learn about here.

    Posted by: chasmader | Nov 14, 2011 11:06:20 AM

  14. Well Hank, if you think its a hole, then dont go. I dont know what stereotype you are tired of. The one where guys go to a bar with real mean who they find sexually attractive instead of doing some meth and twatting around in some dance club? Is that the one that bothers you? Then please dont go to those kinds of bars and dont worry about where the rest of us are going.

    Posted by: JWL | Nov 14, 2011 12:00:07 PM

  15. licensed establishments have a capacity limit as to how many people can be in the bar. it's usually determined by square footage and the number and size of means of egress. i.e, entrances and exits. these limits are done so in case of fire, etc., the people inside would be able to exit quickly and safely. i don't know the particulars in this case, but the bar owners would do well to keep a count of people in the bar, so as not to exceed capacity. regarding the porn on the screens, it also should be delineated on the license what is allowed in terms of nudity, etc. that being said, the police probably will be
    getting some nice revenue from the fines for tickets they issued the bar. on the other hand, how many people have been stampeded to death at leather bars in the last few years, versus day after thanksgiving xmas sales at wal mart?

    Posted by: kodiak | Nov 14, 2011 12:21:17 PM

  16. ps-the police have lead crackdowns against the Eagle here in nyc for complaints allegedly from citizens calling 311. turns out there were no 311 complaints as the police dept said, the real culprit is the luxury housing complex getting ready to be built across the street from the bar. The powers that be think that the Eagle will be a hindrance to the newcomers to the neighborhood, hence they must be driven out by false pretense. The police department acting on behalf of the interests of real estate developers/speculators, defending property rights before all others.

    Posted by: kodiak | Nov 14, 2011 12:26:37 PM

  17. "It's a clear breach of the law",

    Jason you may be technically correct, but let's not forget that there was a time when simply serving alcohol to Gay men was technically a violation of the law. That didn't stop us as a community from gathering, or stop bar owners from giving us a place to buy a cocktail and for us as a community to fight against those laws, and all the other laws that have held us back and prevented us from living the lives we want that have no impact on others.

    The capacity issue is one that every bar has to grapple with on a busy night (if they're lucky). The porn law however is stupid. It doesn't take into account that a Leather Bar has a naturally filtered "community standard" of it's own, distinct from the cocktail lounge where you might take your Aunt for a cosmo when she's in town, or the bar area of a Chili's.

    I know everyone wants to just be a Gay accountant, marry legally and co-parent with a lesbian couple in the suburbs, but there are still a few of us who do care about the ways in which our sexuality intersect with our interactions as members of the LGBT community, and actually find great value in the bonding aspects of open expressions of sexuality free from narrow moralistic anti-sex and anti-porn attitudes.

    What actually matters most here is whether the Cathedral City Police raided that bar in the spirit of equal enforcement of those regulations or whether (more likely I'm guessing) there is something else going on here that is about seeing the mere presence and existence of a Leather Bar as a problem because it offends some pearl clutching Republicans delicate sensibilities. We should always resist conforming to what will make them comfortable because only our complete silence and invisibility is the only thing that will hit the mark.

    Posted by: Curtis | Nov 14, 2011 12:48:28 PM

  18. I was there. There was no one monitoring the door into the bar or the gate to the patio at the front or few guys coming and going through the outside door to the leather fair in back. It was very crowded but that's not unprecedented. The PD wasn't rude but they weren't all smiles either. I can't remember going into any other venue on one of their busiest nights without some crowd control at the door. Last night, there was none visible when I went in except for the 2 men sitting inside the gate to the patio demanding a $5 "donation".

    Posted by: Casey | Nov 14, 2011 1:01:42 PM

  19. ...and their newly sashed titleholder is going to do WHAT about this??

    Posted by: Alan Arthur Chiras | Nov 14, 2011 1:24:55 PM

  20. You guys kill me with your faux outrage about porn playing on tv screens in Leather bars. If something like that shocks you I suggest you never come to a place like Germany, lest you head explode.

    Posted by: Frank | Nov 14, 2011 1:27:11 PM

  21. During spring breaks of yesteryear, straight bars were closed down for overcrowding all the time.

    The porn thing, is not gay specific. I'm sure if a straight club showed porn, they'd have the same problem.

    The screaming drunks are embarrassing. Gays have no rights? A bit of a hyperbole perhaps? Maybe their rights are limited regarding marriage, but that is slowly changing. But I don't think they are singled out for overcrowded bars.

    Just because rules are enforced doesn't mean the police force is anti-gay. If they want to show porn or increase the guest limit, get the community to change the rules.

    Posted by: dms | Nov 14, 2011 1:51:32 PM

  22. The fireman was hot.

    Posted by: LAX/JFK | Nov 14, 2011 2:40:59 PM

  23. I believe that this is just a regular gay bar..Oh gosh,,I believe that you never been in mexico or either Germany or Spain,,Please..Porn in a gay bar...Is something normal...The real problem here was the over capacity of the place,,But Yeah,,it was a special place ofr teh Leather gay comunity..I feel shame about you people cuz This Pride means MONEY for our comunity for OUR city...And after this WONDERFUL pride..I Think people is gonna think about it twice or mavbe three times before to come back...being gay is not a CRIME..God bless you people.

    Posted by: Joe Nava | Nov 14, 2011 4:16:59 PM

  24. this bar is always packed on sundays. One must wonder if someone called the police and complained. Competition is vicious. In fact two bar owners in long beach are notorious for calling in phoney complaints from dan diego to san francisco.

    Posted by: tomwood | Nov 14, 2011 4:29:27 PM

  25. First of all there was absolutely nothing anti-gay about it, and it was not a police raid. The bar was just plainly WAY over capacity. The owners have been warned before on many occasions. How did the firemen know to check? Who knows, maybe a patron got mad because he had to wait too long to get a drink, maybe the FD has it on their radar to check on busy days, maybe the wicked witch flew by on her broom and wanted to cause trouble, but it is NOT anti-gay, one of their code enforcement officers IS gay and patronizes the bar. And I sincerely doubt it was another bar owner. There used to be one who would do it but he's thankfully long gone.

    I'll stand up for our rights at the drop of hat, but let's not cry wolf every time a safety officer is just doing their job, politely, as they certainly were in this instance, especially because some assholes in the crowd were NOT being very polite to them and were clearly drunk. Who gives a rats ass if they were smiling? If someone was calling me names I wouldn't be smiling either...

    Posted by: Logical | Nov 14, 2011 5:03:48 PM

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