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"My Open Letter to Mayor Mike Moncrief on the Rainbow Lounge Raid of June 28.
Published from Christopher Street on this Stonewall 40th Anniversary from NYC NY
Hon. Mike Moncrief, Mayor
City of Fort Worth
1000 Throckmorton Street
Fort Worth, Texas
June 28, 2009
Dear Mayor Moncrief,
The news of the raid carried out at the Rainbow Lounge on South Jennings Street this morning around 1 AM is reaching around the nation. I was disturbed to hear of it from a distinguished graduate of Brite Divinity School by phone while I was on pilgrimage to New York City for the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion that began the world-wide movement to secure equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human beings. It is incredible to me that a Stonewall-style raid, roughing up and arresting customers at Fort Worth's newest LGBT bar and lounge, would be carried out on the very anniversary of the birth of the LGBT rights movement. Sir, as a minister, professor, and gay man of conscience, I appeal to you to carry out a full investigation of this outrage against LGBT people and our allies everywhere, to issue an apology to the world LGBT community immediately before any more damage is done to Fort Worth's reputation, and to take steps to see that basic human rights and dignity are upheld in our great city.
You are a man of conscience, Mayor Moncrief. I have gladly met and worked with you and your administration in the past. You must know how personally distressing this act is to me, and to the thousands of LGBT citizens of Tarrant County. That is the reason I am writing this open letter to you and the public, to make my voice heard. I find it difficult not to believe that this raid was deliberately carried out on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion to create fear and consternation among gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. Mayor Moncrief, this sort of heavy-handedness cannot be tolerated in a modern Texas city like ours. You know that. Please act deliberately and quickly to address the LGBT community. We must have personal action on your part as leader of Fort Worth.
As a minister, I must uphold the highest standards of justice for all people. This is not an act that any religion can condone or justify. At the very heart of the Golden Rule, observed in one form or another by all the world's great religions, is the holy standard to "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." The Fort Worth Police Department, the State Police, and whoever else planned, approved, and executed this act of humiliation and violence against God's LGBT children in Fort Worth have transgressed that ethical, spiritual, and religious boundary. LGBT people have come a long way since Stonewall, Mayor Moncrief. I am here today with millions from all around the world thankfully remembering that human rights are hard won. Our city has some hard work ahead, and some powerful explaining to do to the children of Stonewall.
Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
Brite Divinity School
Fort Worth, Texas