In Seattle, a group of Capitol Hill gay bars and clubs are teaming with neighborhood queer community leaders Dan Savage and Terry Miller in calling for the state's liquor control board and Seattle police officials to explain what they say was a weekend crackdown at the city's LGBTQ+-friendly venues, per The Capitol Hill Seattle Blog.
Savage and Miller as well as owners at bars such as The Cuff, Queer/Bar, Massive and The Eagle said that citations issued over the past weekend over clothing and decency violations at a handful of clubsand that the venues were targeted.
"None of the venues in our coalition have ever been cited for alcohol or violence related offenses," the statement from the club owners reads. "Citations were issued based solely on individuals' clothing choices, such as being shirtless or wearing a jockstrap, which we consider a breach of the power entrusted to JET [Joint Enforcement Team] and the LCB [Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board] for maintaining public safety.
"The absence of violence or liquor-related issues in the citations indicates a concerning focus on targeting queer individuals in queer spaces."
Liquor-control board officials met on the situation on Jan. 29 and claimed the enforcement effort "in no way" was targeted because the venues are pro-LGBTQ+.
On Instagram, Savage posted, "There's a lot gay men will take lying down. But raids on gay bars in 2024 in Seattle isn't something we are gonna take."