Monday, June 29, 2009

TABC: Not Enough Info on
Ft. Worth Gay Bar Raid

On Sunday, I sent an email to the top public info officer for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Carolyn Beck, requesting a few answers about the raid on a gay bar in Ft. Worth. My questions were also left on Beck's voice mail.

I want to know why the raid was conducted, who from TABC authorized the action, and what state liquor laws were supposedly being violated.

This was the reply I received this afternoon:
Hi Michael,

I got your message. If we release a statement today, I will definitely e-mail it to you. Right now, I don't have enough information to answer any questions except to confirm that we had agents in the bar on Saturday night along with the Fort Worth Police Department.

When I have more information and can answer questions, I will call you. If you would like to e-mail me questions, please send them to this address. I know you intended to send an e-mail yesterday.

If you did, I did not receive it.

Carolyn Beck
Public Information Officer
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
Even though Beck's reply skimps on any substance and details, it's a lot more than the non-responses to the raid from the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

I can't locate any statement on the raid, or the gay man who suffered head trauma and is hospitalized, on the HRC site. Their Monday morning wrap up has an item on the Vermillion, SD, school board expanding protections for LGBT people, and since my partner is from there, I'm happy to see the town's advance for us getting some attention from HRC. But was that the only thing of importance to happen over the weekend in our national struggle for liberation? I guess HRC can't cover things in South Dakota and Texas on the same day.

You won't find anything on the raid or injured gay man from NGLTF on their site, but the leader of the group wants your opinion on what issues she should raise with the president today at the White House cocktail party for LGBT people.

And at GLAAD's site, same nothingness on the terrible events in Fort Worth, but there are not one, not two, but three things on Perez Hilton using the word fag recently.

I guess it's unfair of me to think Gay Inc groups could get all dolled up for the White House reception _and_ also issue statements about the raid and hospitalized homosexual in Texas.

To their credit, the folks at Equality Texas have issued a statement and plan of action on their blog. They also shared with readers a news release from the Fort Worth police department about the raid:

On Saturday morning, June 27, 2009, a person identifying himself as the owner of the Rainbow Lounge called the local police station and spoke with a supervisor to ascertain if there was a problem at the Rainbow Lounge. At approximately 3:30 p.m., a Fort Worth Police sergeant spoke with the owner of the Rainbow Lounge and explained they were conducting alcoholic beverage code inspections in the area. The owner advised the sergeant officers were welcome anytime to conduct an inspection of his establishment. The sergeant advised the owner of the Rainbow Lounge that officers would return to the area this evening to continue inspections and would inspect his establishment.

On Sunday morning, June 28, 2009, at 12:30 a.m., six (6) Fort Worth Police Officers, two (2) TABC agents and a supervisor conducted inspections at 160 W Rosedale (Rosedale Saloon and Cowboy Palace). This inspection resulted in nine (9) arrests. Once the inspection was completed at these locations, officers proceeded to the Rainbow Lounge.

Officers arrived at the Rainbow Lounge to conduct the scheduled inspection. Some officers remained outside while some entered the club. While walking through the Rainbow Lounge, an extremely intoxicated patron made sexually explicit movements toward the police supervisor. This individual was arrested for public intoxication. Another intoxicated individual also made sexually explicit movements towards another officer and he was arrested for public intoxication. A third individual inside the lounge assaulted the TABC agent by grabbing the TABC agent’s groin. He was escorted outside and arrested for public intoxication. The decision was made to release him to paramedics due to his extreme intoxicated state as he was repeatedly vomiting. While dealing with this person, another officer requested assistance from inside the club as he had an intoxicated individual that was resisting arrest. This person was placed on the ground in an effort to control and apprehend. A total of seven (7) arrests were made from the Rainbow Lounge during this inspection. The total arrest count for the entire evening totaled 16.

I wonder why HRC, GLAAD and NGLTF remain silent on the raid and the gay man injured and hospitalized. When will Gay Inc make a statement about the situation in Texas?

Keep up to date on the raid's aftermath, and the condition of our injured gay brother, at the excellent Dallas Voice blog.


Xiphias said...

HRC is calling for an investigation into the raid:

Xiphias said...

GLAAD is sounding off too:

I am extremely disappointed by the brevity and cautious language used by both GLAAD and HRC.