A rainbow appears over the crumbling walls of the Rainbow Lounge arguably the birthplace of the North Texan LGBT rights movement. The Rainbow Lounge was destroyed Thursday morning in a blaze initially believed to have been accidental.
TEXAS LGBT RIGHTS are under fire just as devastatingly with extremists igniting legislative infernos, tirelessly endeavoring to set our hopes, dreams, and security ablaze as well.
The brutal raid at the Rainbow Lounge occurred on it’s opening 40 years to the day of the Stonewall riots, galvanizing our Fort Worth LGBT community as nothing else could have. But times were a bit different back then. As Texans, we naively believed that our city by default respected all citizens equally. Our innocence was lost that night. But an odd, yet very Texan thing then happened. We were angry and yes we protested vehemently, but with the hope that we could make things better as partners with the city and the police.
Queer Liberaction led by the charismatic Blake Wilkinson and the confrontational radio talk show host Rick Vanderslice staged protests which ignited national interest and passion. Fairness Fort Worth was later formed eventually resulting in the city passing one of the state’s first local ordinances which protected transgender people in public accommodations.
I testified at the city council meeting when Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief signed the LGBT ordinance saying something to the effect “I don’t understand this transgender thing, but I do understand as elected officials it’s our duty to protect all our citizens, and that’s what I will do.”
That uniquely Texan thing I was talking about? Well. it’s no so unique as history has since revealed. Many cities and states have since protected LGBT people and I’m sure everyone has a similar story to tell, but doesn’t make our Texas tale any less valuable. In May 2011 Fort Worth adopted 19 of the 20 recommendations made by the diversity commission placing Fort Worth as a leader in LGBT equality!
These hard earned, never abused, invaluable protections are at risk as the Governor and the legislature’s ‘freedom caucus’ shamelessly and relentlessly endeavor to forever strip them from Texas’s 770,000 LGBT adults and 158,500 LGBT youth.
Gov. Abbott failing to force his Bathroom bill through during the regular session is holding our state hostage, refusing to say whether he will call a special session for another go at a bathroom bill.
In the Texas metropolises this patchwork of ordinances the Williams Institute reports serve as the only barrier from discrimination. These are the protections SB6 and HB2899 would have repealed, possibly forever.
There are now 12 Texas cities with populations of more than 100,000 that have some rules or legislation in place to protect residents or city employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. reports the Texas Tribune.