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Old 09-11-2019, 07:27 AM
Saintly Loser is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,429
Originally Posted by kirkrapine View Post
IIRC, the Stonewall bar was Mob-controlled, and that was actually the main reason it was raided.
I suspect all the gay bars in the Village were mob-controlled back then, and getting behind in its payoff schedule was the actual reason it was raided.

That said, that was a different situation than that of the back-room places in the 80s. For one thing, the Stonewall actually was a bar, with a liquor license. It operated within the legal closing hours. What it was doing that was illegal was allowing gay men to congregate there and wear drag, which was illegal (then). For another, I don't believe it was an on-premises sex club.

A place like the Anvil in the 80s did not have a liquor license, although it certainly sold huge quantities of beer and booze. It was not a bar. It did not operate within legal closing hours. Drugs were consumed (and sold) there on a massive scale. Sex took place more or less openly (upstairs was dancing and drag shows, downstairs was sex). It called itself a private club, but in practice, anyone could enter. Was it mob-controlled? I don't know, but that was certainly the rumor. Same with the Mineshaft, which was purely a sex club that sold liquor (three stories of some very weird sex -- I'm amazed that it was allowed to exist as long as it did, and I'm certain that huge payoffs were involved).

So it was very, very easy for the City of New York to close those places. They were in flagrant violation of just about every law you could think of. For instance, in hindsight, I'm horrified by their total non-compliance with the fire code. If there had ever been a fire, the death toll would have been huge.

And, back to the subject of this thread, I think it was for the best that the City shut these places down.

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 09-11-2019 at 07:28 AM.