Gay Activists: Two Raids is Too Much

By Omar Villafranca
|  Sunday, Jul 12, 2009  |  Updated 11:41 PM CDT
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Gay Activists: Two Raids is Too Much

Omar Villafranca

Hundreds gathered on the steps of the Tarrant County courthouse Sunday.

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Gay activists in North Texas said enough is enough and pinned a list of demands to the front door of the Tarrant County Courthouse Sunday.

The 200 people that gathered on the steps wanted to send a message to city and state leaders after two separate raids by the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission.

The first raid took place a few weeks ago at the Rainbow Lounge, a gay bar, in Fort Worth. Another raid happened at the Dallas Eagle early Saturday morning.

Benjamin Gutterly was at the Rainbow Lounge and said he was zip-tied and detained.

"They left marks on my wrists [that lasted] a few hours after I was released," Gutterly said.

Gutterly said he's normally the quiet type, preferring to stay quiet and live his life with his partner. But his demeanor changed after what happened to him at the Rainbow Lounge.

"Ever since then, it's honestly just lit a fire in me and I'll tell the world who I am. There's nothing wrong with it."

Gutterly told NBCDFW.COM he filed complaints with the Fort Worth Police Department and other agencies, but he admits he's skittish about going out to gay clubs now.

"I hate to say this, cause I just stated how proud I am and everything, but we haven't been out to a gay establishment since it happened in Fort Worth."

Activists said they plan more protests until they are treated fairly by police and the TABC.
 

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