Fort Worth Gay Bar raided — on 40th anniversary of Stonewall

We keep saying that in DC, it feels like the 90s again. Last night in Fort Worth, it was 1969. June 27, 1969. The bar wasn’t Stonewall. It was the Rainbow Lounge.

Details are still coming in, but it looks like there was a raid on a new gay bar in Fort Worth last night. Initial details came via “Instant Tea,” the blog of Dallas Voice:

I got a phone call at 3 this morning from Todd Camp, the founder of Q Cinema and former reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It was Camp’s birthday and the night of a special Q Cinema screening of two Stonewall documentaries… because it was ALSO the 40th anniverary of Stonewall, as anyone knows.

Except, apparently, the Fort Worth PD.

Or maybe worse, they DID know and wanted to make a point.

The horrific details after the jump.

According to Camp, the newly-opened Rainbow Lounge is “the only cool gay bar in town,” but the police raided it, arresting numerous patrons for no reason.

Instant Tea has had several more updates since that first post. Burnt Orange Report has more:

Early this morning a new LGBT club in Fort Worth was raided by Fort Worth police, to which reports indicate that one individual arrested suffered a fractured skull. Eyewitness reports say that anywhere between 10-20 were arrested. This activity occurs on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall protests in New York where gays and lesbians protested harassment by police and began the modern gay rights movement.

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns issued the following statement:

I want all citizens of Texas and Fort Worth to know and be assured that the laws and ordinances of our great State and City will be applied fairly, equally and without malice or selective enforcement. I consider this to be part of “The Fort Worth Way” here. As an elected representative of the city of Fort Worth, I am calling for an immediate and thorough investigation of the actions of the City of Fort Worth Police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in relation to the incident at the Rainbow Lounge earlier this morning, June 28, 2009.

It is unfortunate that this incident occurred in Fort Worth and even more so to have occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall protests. Unlike 40 years ago, though, the people of this community have elective representation that will make sure our government is accountable and that the rights of all of its citizens are protected. I are working together with our Mayor, Police Chief, the City of Fort Worth Human Relations Commission, and our State Legislative colleagues to get a complete and accurate accounting of what occurred.

Rest assured that neither the people of Fort Worth, nor the city government of Fort Worth, will tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens. And know that the GLBT Community is an integral part of the economic and cultural life of Fort Worth.

Every Fort Worth citizen deserves to have questions around this incident answered and I am working aggressively toward that end.

Thanks to SD_Dave for reporting this news in the comments tonight — and to superstition who had also posted this disturbing news.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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