As you may have heard, in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 28, the Fort Worth Police Department raided the Rainbow Lounge, a new, primarily gay bar in the city. As you also know, Sunday, June 28 marked the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, considered to be the beginning of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights movement in the United States. For many, this coincidence is a chilling reminder of the fact that, while we have come so far, the journey to equality is not yet finished. The Cathedral of Hope and Hope for Peace & Justice issued the following statement yesterday in response to the actions of the Fort Worth Police Department:
World’s Largest Gay Church Decries Actions of Fort Worth Police:
Dallas-based Cathedral of Hope calls raid “unacceptable”
Dallas, Texas – June 28, 2009 – The Dallas, Texas-based Cathedral of Hope, known as the world’s largest lesbian and gay church, has issued the following statement regarding the raid on the Rainbow Lounge early this morning by the Fort Worth Police Department:
June 28 is celebrated throughout the United States and elsewhere as the beginning of the lesbian and gay civil rights movement in this country. Surely this did not escape the knowledge of the Fort Worth Police Department as they raided the Rainbow Lounge early this morning. In a scene eerily reminiscent of the raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village 40 years ago, the police reportedly entered the bar unprovoked, harassing and arresting patrons without reason. The Cathedral of Hope and Hope for Peace & Justice call on Chief of Police Jeffrey Halstead to issue a full report and apology immediately. This kind of targeted humiliation and harassment was unacceptable 40 years ago, and it is unacceptable today. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and their friends, families and allies have had enough.
Reverend Michael Piazza, Dean of the Cathedral, in condemning the raid, said, “After more than a generation of progress, this action shows that there is still much work to be done to ensure that all Americans enjoy ‘equal protection under the law.’ It is tragic that lesbian and gay taxpayers are still abused by the very people who are paid by our taxes.”