Fires damage gay-friendly church in Houston, gay nightclub in Jackson, Miss.

Posted on 12 Apr 2010 at 8:54am
An aerial view of the Houston church from the local ABC affiliate. The latest reports suggest that the fire may have been started by a homeless man who was trying to stay warm.
An aerial view of the Houston church fire from ABC 13. The latest reports suggest that the fire may have been started by a homeless man who was trying to stay warm, but the investigation is continuing.

Anytime a gay or gay-friendly bar, church or other establishment catches fire, it’s natural for people in the LGBT community to suspect hate-based arson. Let’s just hope this wasn’t the case in Houston or Jackson, Miss., over the weekend.

On Thursday night, someone torched Houston’s Servant-Savior Presbyterian Church, known as an “open and affirming” congregation for gays, The Houston Press reports. Investigators have ruled the fire “incendiary,” meaning it wasn’t accidental.

Early this morning, a gay nightclub caught fire in Jackson, Miss., WLBT reports. Investigators are stil trying to determine the cause of the blaze at the downtown club called Dick and Jane’s, which broke out just before 5 a.m.

Lord knows there’s plenty of anti-gay hatred to go around in these places. Just look at the recent actions of the Houston Area Pastor Council, or the backlash in Mississippi prompted by Constance McMillen’s attempt to bring a same-sex date to her prom.

I have no evidence to suggest that either one of these incidents was hate-based, but at the same time, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if one of both of them turned out to be. Stay tuned to Instant Tea for updates.

UPDATE: It’s looking more and more like the Jackson fire wasn’t accidental. WLBT offers this update:

The club’s owner showed WLBT’s cameras the damage. It appeared one fire began in a trash can near the bar, and another in a trash can in an upstairs area. Two doors were damaged from what appeared to be a break-in.

The club’s owner, who asked to remain anonymous, said he may be able to reopen the club by this weekend because the damage is not too extensive.

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