A group of drag queens were all set to perform at a Montgomery, Alabama restaurant in honor of Pride last weekend when police raided the eatery just minutes before the big show.
The Touch of Soul Café had planned to host the event the night of June 29. The restaurant kicked off the Pride party at 11 pm, with plans to continue until 2 am.
Owner Geri Moss believed she had the right to keep the restaurant open until that hour in accordance with the law.
Local statues specify that a business must serve food from open to close in order to qualify as a restaurant. Those that do not, or that serve only alcohol after a certain hour, are deemed bars or clubs, and are subject to different permits.
According to police reports, cops raided Touch of Soul around 10:45 pm, just before customers were due to enter the premises. Moss opted to shut down the restaurant, effectively canceling the drag show and Pride celebration.
Police inspections happen on a regular basis in Montgomery, though Moss notes that this one had slightly different circumstances. In the run-up to Pride, Touch of Soul received a number of calls from “Christian customers” expressing their disapproval of the event.
Police told Moss that they opted to raid the restaurant after seeing an employee outside and customers entering the building. That explanation conflicts with accounts of the Touch of Soul staff, which say no customers had entered the building. That also contradicts reports by the local fire marshall, who says that he received plans to raid the business ahead of time.
In other words, police had planned to raid Touch of Soul in advance.
Moss, as well as the local LGBTQ community, have compared the raid to that of Stonewall.
“People are suffering from a lack of respect and places to go,” Moss says. “So, when people can come together and enjoy the same things, without all the looks and remarks, it’s just nice. ‘But then there are people who want tear that down.”
The Montgomery Police department has yet to comment on the circumstances of the raid.
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“That also contradicts reports by the local fire marshall, who says that he received plans to raid the business ahead of time.
In other words, police had planned to raid Touch of Soul in advance.”
Says it all right there. And now we wait for the usually screenames of the same person to come in here and try to deflect from the bigoted hate by attacking the drag queens, or lying about Alabama restaurant regulations etc…
You are right
Even if people were going in and an employee was outside, I can’t imagine why a raid would be considered necessary (assuming I believed that was their reason). There was nothing to indicate whether or not they were serving food. People go in where food is being served. Employees take breaks where food is served. Having a hard time buying in the narrative of the police.
Alabama is a disgrace to the United States of America. We should have let them secede for good back in 1861. There has been no gain for the greater U.S. having these states/people in our union.
PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
Yeah, agree! that whole succession thingy wasn’t such a bad thing after all …
Alabama does it again. Can we just officially build a wall around them?
The actions of this police force disgust me. Alabama disgusts me.
Having said that… Moss should have kept a deep-fryer fired up and offered the cops some French fries or chicken tenders.
They should’ve fought back like the brave souls at Stonewall but today’s old boys club police probably would’ve shot them. Too much corruption in all police departments.
Although I disagree with what happened at this restaurant, the police, in general, are good hard-working guys and gals who put their lives on the line every day to protect law-abiding citizens. You really shouldn’t broad-brush an entire profession.
Yes, it’s just a few “bad apple” who nevertheless are defended and protected by all the “good apples,” right?
That’s not how being “good” works, but whatever.
Our nation has an Alabama problem and a landfill availability problem. I believe this is a 2 for 1 solution.
This was police harassment pure and simple. I hope they explore legal options against the police department
Jon in Canada
It’s Talibama, so no surprise here.
The cops, who work for white Christians only, decided to be thugs and bullies, trying to keep uppity queers from having a good time. It this were a movie, it would be called Alabama Stonewall meets the KKK (Keystone Khristian Kops).
While I want to sympathize with the victims of this fiasco of Our Tax Dollars Going to Terrible Use as Salaries for Thugs with Badges; try living here in Indiana under the ugly law that b*tch Mike Pence had signed as our Governor, right before jumping ship and landing in Donald Trump’s pocket. It’s truly ridiculous….any LGBT customer to be recognized as such can be legally refused service at any privately-owned business now. Apparently the Gilded Pious who Sit Upon the Hand of God no longer have to spend sleepless nights, worrying about their souls being damned because the many businesses they collect money from have done so from the hands of the ‘unclean’ LGBT community….yet I wanted to know where were all the LGBT-owned businesses..? I know there have to be some, but I know of no Rainbow Yellowpages since the internet killed the phone books, lol….I don’t want to put my money into the coffers of homophobes anyway. Somebody guide me to Indy’s LGBT business owners, please….
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