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A Texas gay raid and Stonewall

What a rough police “check” at Fort Worth's Rainbow Lounge on the 40th anniversary of Stonewall says about gay rights

The Fort Worth police have “some explaining to do,” said Jacquielynn Floyd in The Dallas Morning News. On June 28, officers raided a gay bar called the Rainbow Lounge, sending a patron to intensive care with a head injury. “In what I can only hope is a spectacularly infelicitous coincidence,” it took place on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Raid, the gay-rights movement’s catalyst. The cops’ story—drunk gay men groped them—doesn’t add up.

Well, police chief Jeff Halstead is backing his men and their classic “Gay Panic Defense,” said Dan Savage in The Stranger, which goes: He made a pass at me, so I was justified in beating/killing him. That would still be illegal, but it’s also bunk. “I’ve been in a million gay bars” like the Rainbow Lounge, and “gay men don’t grope police officers when they enter gay bars.”

It is, “obviously, very sad” that one of the Rainbow Lounge patrons is in critical condition, said Rod Dreher in BeliefNet, but come on, the report that “cops who entered a gay bar were set upon by drunk, horny patrons who played grab-ass with them” is “hilarious,” and not at all far-fetched. Gay people, especially drunk gay people, can be “as stupid as the rest of us.”

Except that the hospitalized man was reportedly drinking bottled water, said Jeff Epperly in New England’s Bay Windows. But 40 years after Stonewall, this kind of gay harassment goes on all over the U.S., not just in Texas. The raid at Forth Worth's Rainbow Lounge “was the work of a police department that wasn’t smart enough to hide its bigotry.”

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