Seattle Police Raided Several Gay Bars in Apparent Regressive, Targeted Move. Demand Justice!

Seattle police recently raided four gay bars and clubs, searched the premises, and threatened potential citations for "lewd conduct" violations.

What the actual heck? This is Seattle in 2024 - are authorities there really trying to go back to the regressive eras from decades ago?

Sign the petition to demand justice!

Apparently, in Washington state, police can cite you for violations if you're both selling alcohol and exposing a nipple or wearing a jockstrap at the same time. That is patently absurd.

LGBTQ+ bars and clubs are supposed to be safe spaces for queer folks to form community and find a respite from the wider heteronormative world. Of course, that's partly why authorities have specifically targeted these establishments in the past.

Police have a terrifying and notorious history of raiding and violently attacking patrons at queer businesses, with one of the most famous examples being the attack on LGBTQ+ folks at the Stonewall Inn gay bar in New York City back in 1969. It wasn't the only such event, but its wide publicity helped shine a light on hateful, homophobic police brutality.

Knowing all this, why would police in Seattle of all places specifically zero in on LGBTQ+ establishments? Over a bartender with an exposed nipple? Really?

"You're allowed to be who you are in Seattle as long as you don't go into a gay bar. They're not going into the other bars the same way as this," says Joey Burgess, owner of The Cuff Complex - one of the bars investigated this year.

This is very targeted and clearly discriminatory. It's terrifying to know that police still have the authority to intimidate queer businesses, patrons, and community members in this way, escalating a normal Friday night into something that's suddenly scary.

Sign the petition to demand that Seattle police apologize for their raids of gay bars and clubs, and drop any pending citations!
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