A man who entered a gay bar in Jersey City, New Jersey, allegedly assaulted a gay bar employee while hurling an anti-gay slur and making anti-gay statements directed at staff and customers.
Pint, a bar that has been operational since 1911, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday that a man asked why the bar has a rainbow flag, which may be a reference to a fence surrounding the bar painted in the six primary colors of the Pride flag. When told he was frequenting a gay bar, the man became agitated.
“When told we are gay bar, he flew into a rage and said gays target children,” the post reads. “He said gay people and gay bars should be illegal. He then began calling our staff and customers ‘f*ggots and homos. He sped away before police arrived.”
The bar indicated it was hoping to pursue bias crime charges against the man, who has not yet been identified publicly.
However, staff at the bar were able to take photos of the man and of his vehicle, a white Jeep, and get his license plate number.
“This wanker does not represent our city or our neighborhood,” Pint wrote in the post. “Pint takes the security of our customers and staff seriously. We have existing security measures in place to immediately summon authorities.
“We love our big, diverse Jersey City,” the post continued. “We have always made it our goal that everyone — regardless of our love, where you come from, however you define yourself — you are welcome here.”
According to the Hudson County edition of the New Jersey newspaper Daily Voice, Wolf Sterling, one of the co-owners of Pint, said in an Instagram post that the man has been identified by Jersey City police, who are continuing to investigate the incident.
The police department will be increasing patrols around the bar to try and prevent similar incidents.
“We’ve owned the bar since 2009 and we’ve never had an incident like this,” Sterling said. “This is not reflective of Jersey City, this is not reflective of who we are. At Pint and in Jersey City we are a diverse, welcoming place.”
The incident comes at a time when there is a wider, nationwide backlash against LGBTQ visibility in any form, often taking the form of attacks or threats against LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly venues or events, or — in Republican-led states, legislative attacks that include bans on drag, bans on LGBTQ books, curricula, or discussions in schools, and efforts to remove protections for transgender individuals or same-sex married couples.
Jersey City, despite being in a “blue” state, is not immune to such sentiment.
On July 29, a bomb threat was reportedly called in against a Drag Queen Story Hour event at a local park, forcing the event to be delayed while police evacuated the area to investigate, according to Hudson County View. On September 9, the LGBTQ bar Six26 Lounge & Rooftop wrote in an Instagram post that a brick had been thrown through the bar’s window.
Jersey City Councilman James Solomon, who represents the ward where the bar is located, and who was thanked by Sterling in his Instagram post, called the most recent incident at Pint a “disgrace.”
“Every queer person deserves to feel safe — and I’ve made very clear in light of the national rollback of LGBTQ+ rights that hate has no home in Jersey City,” Solomon wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We will be working with the JCPD and local authorities to ensure that justice is met swiftly, and I will use every power available to me to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community in Ward E and across Jersey City is protected.”
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