WATCH: Robert Camina’s long-awaited “Raid of the Rainbow Lounge” to premiere March 15

Meredith Baxter and Robert Camina

Robert Camina announced that the premiere of his documentary film Raid of the Rainbow Lounge will be held on March 15 at the AMC Palace 9 in Sundance Square in Downtown Fort Worth.

Meredith Baxter, who narrates the film, and Camina will be in attendance.

The film documents the events that happened at the newly opened Rainbow Lounge when Fort Worth police and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission raided the bar on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.

Camina uploaded a new trailer for the film. Watch it below.

—  David Taffet

Atlanta Cops Were Drunk During Bar Raid

ATLANTA EAGLE 02 X390 (EAGLE) | ADVOCATE.COMPrior to the raid on the Atlanta Eagle bar, two undercover police officers downed several shots of Jägermeister, according to information provided in a lawsuit against the city. Daily News

—  David Taffet

Eugene Delgaudio: My Raid On CPAC

Our favorite loony tunes anti-gay activist, Eugene Delgaudio, writes today to brag about his “raid” on CPAC yesterday for allowing GOProud’s presence.

More than once I had to rush in and rescue minors and other unsuspecting conservatives from these homosexuals who seek to worm their way into positions of trust and authority. They deceive the naive with talk of how big and important they are. They dangle a “career” in politics in front of their eyes and then comes the invite to the alcohol party. I had fliers printed to hand out warning the attendees at CPAC of the lurking danger. Several homosexuals who receive my emails acknowledged me “We got your email already.” And I even handed a flyer to Grover Norquist, who is a backer of the homosexuals, a member of GOProud’s board of directors, and has access to many elected officials and the mainstream media. He was not amused that I had the nerve to publicly denounce his shilling for the anti-family activists. What part do Radical Homosexuals have in the conservative movement or traditional values? None!

It’s a pity he didn’t make it to the big alcohol party with Miss Hissey!

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

Atlanta to Pay $1 Million Settlement for Bar Raid

ATLANTA EAGLE BAR X390 (COURTESY) | ADVOCATE.COMThe city of Atlanta will pay a million to settle the dispute stemming from its raid of the Atlanta Eagle gay bar last year. Daily News

—  admin

Police Raid Gay Dallas Bathhouse, Arrest 11

For the first time since 2003, police entered Club-Dallas, a gay bathhouse in the Deep Ellum district of East Dallas, and arrested 11 people, the Dallas Voice reports:

Dallas "Ten patrons of The Club reportedly were charged with either public lewdness or indecent exposure, while one employee was charged with interfering with police. DPD would only release records related to three of the 11 arrests, saying Dallas Voice needed to file a freedom of information request to obtain additional details. Laura Martin, DPD’s liaison officer to the gay community, said the vice unit raided the establishment on Swiss Avenue in response to a complaint. But police wouldn’t say who had complained…The Club Dallas on Thursday, Oct. 14 issued a one-sentence statement about the raid. 'The Club Dallas management is committed to pursuing justice for and defending the rights of each of its members,' the statement read. The Club reportedly helped bond out arrested members from jail and has offered them legal representation. Martin, meanwhile, warned that additional police activity at the business is possible."

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

New York’s First Antigay Raid Remembered

1900 BATH HOUSE ARISTON X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COMA 1903 raid on New York’s Ariston Baths has
the dubious distinction of being the first antigay raid led by the city’s
police. Daily News

—  John Wright

Remembering The Ariston Baths, New York’s First Anti-Gay Raid


New York City gay bar The Stonewall Inn received a lot of attention this week, after two men attacked one of its patrons. It was an astonishing story, and few could believe something reportedly homophobic could go down at the bar, known as the epicenter for a 1969 revolt against anti-gay police raids. Those protests, of course, helped spark the modern gay right movement, cementing Stonewall’s place in history.

While Stonewall deserves plenty of recognition for its pivotal role as the rebellion’s backdrop, it wasn’t the first New York City establishment to be raided over its patrons’ sexuality. That, um, honor goes toraid the Ariston Bathhouse, where police detained 60 men, and arrested 14, in a February, 21, 1903 sting, all the while referring to suspects as “maude” and “indignant lady.”

The New York Times reported at the time, “[Inspector Brooks said evidence has been gathered for week against the place and that the conduct of some of the frequenters of the establishment was questionable.” Transcripts from the subsequent  trials illuminate the horror and hilarity of homophobia in early New York.

I recently made my way to John Jay Criminal College’s Lloyd Sealy Library in New York City to take a look at the microfilmed court transcripts, most of which are from the early spring of 1903.  The documents are at times amusing in their detail. Here, for example, is an exchange between a prosecutor and one of the undercover police dispatched to the bath house, once located at 55th and Broadway, and one of the city’s man bathhouses at the time.

Q: What did you notice the defendant do?
A: He walked over to the couch that the man Walter Bennett was lying on… And he placed his penis in the anus of the man Walter Bennett, and kept it there for a short time.
Q: Now, did you notice the state of the defendant’s genital organ or penis, at the time that, as you say, he placed it in the anus of the man Walter Bennett?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: In what state was it?
A: It was in a state of erection.
Q: And what, if anything, did he do to Bennett other than that act?
A: Oh, he laid down, after he withdrew his penis from –
Q: Well, after he withdrew his penis, did you notice the penis of the defendant?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And in what condition was the penis of the defendant, after he had withdrawn it from the anus of Bennett?
A: In a state of collapse.

This exchange illustrates the neurotic specificity Americans had about sexuality, particularly homosexuality, at the dawn of the 20th century, only 107-years ago. Desire and sex had been systematically broken down, rationalized into “good” and “bad,” and picked apart from every angle. Oral sex becomes this: “[He] took the penis of he defendant in his mouth and made indecent motions.”

While cultural evolution allows us to laugh at the prosecutorial analysis, the court’s overall attitude is anything but funny. The judge had no problem voicing his distaste over the case, and wrote in his opinion:

We cannot disguise the fact that any reference to the testimony in the case must necessarily be very unpleasant and disagreeable. It affects the very self respect for ourselves and regard for humanity. It brings to the mind a species of horror to think that any person, any human being endowed with intelligence, with reason, would be guilty of such horrible practices…

Even one of the defense attorneys claimed the details were “revolting:” “The mere statement of the crime charged against the defendant is liable to carry with it a certain revulsion off feelings that may be reasonably entertained by every man who has a decent regard for the proprieties and manliness of his sex.”

The prosecutors were quite persuasive: of the twelve men put on trial, seven received multiple years in prison. There were no protests, no marches to oppose the decision. The men were simply ushered off to jail, victims of early America’s widespread homophobia, and forgotten by history.

Surely we’ve come a long way since the 1903 Ariston Trials. As the Stonewall attack and other homophobic incidents show, however, there’s still more work to be done before the Ariston judge’s 1903 opinion on homosexuality has been eradicated entirely.

Image Note: This is not the Ariston Bathhouse. Rather, it’s another bathhouse, located on Bowery, in the year 1884, less than two decades after the word “homosexual” was first used.

Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Beijing Police Raid Gay Cruising Park Ahead of National Holiday

The Haidian district park in Beijing, which I suspect is the Mu Dan Yuan park described by the AP as "a popular outdoor hangout for gay men" (heh), was raided on Saturday and Sunday nights by officials who removed some 80 men and detained dozens for questioning — and even blood tests. The cruising crackdown comes ahead of China's National Day, on Oct. 1. Naturally gay and AIDS activists there are furious, and Beijing's Public Security Bureau isn't saying what laws the men are suspected of breaking.


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—  John Wright

Atlanta CRB: Police Broke Law in Gay Bar Raid

ATLANTA EAGLE 02 X390 (EAGLE) | ADVOCATE.COMThe Atlanta Citizen Review Board determined that police officers broke the law during a raid last year of the Atlanta Eagle gay bar. Daily News

—  John Wright

Filmmaker Robert Camina releases trailer for documentary on Rainbow Lounge raid

On June 28, 2009, within hours of a raid by Fort Worth police officers and agents with the TABC on the newly opened Rainbow Lounge gay bar, local filmmaker Robert L. Camina was at the bar with his camera, talking to people who had witnessed the event and capturing footage of the two protest rallies — one outside the bar and one in front of the Tarrant County Courthouse.

The North Texas LGBT community — indeed, the LGBT community across the country — reacted swiftly and angrily, demanding accountability from TABC and FWPD. LGBT people and their supporters packed the next Fort Worth City Council meeting, demanding a response. And Camina was there with his camera.

Today, on the one-year anniversary of the raid, Camina has released a trailer for his documentary, “Raid of the Rainbow Lounge,” a work in progress that, Camina says, “follows the rollercoaster of a journey, showcasing the good, the bad, the ugly and the controversial.”

The trailer for the documentary is below, and you can go here to Camina’s website for more information.

—  admin