June 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Rainbow flag burned outside Adams Morgan restaurant
Terry Stone, gay news, Washington Blade, rainbow flag 'I will replace it and hang it again,' says a restaurant owner whose rainbow flag was burned.

Rainbow flag that was burned at D.C. Bourbon. (Photo by James Patrick Woods)

The owner of the Adams Morgan restaurant D.C. Bourbon said a large rainbow flag he hung from a pole attached to his restaurant’s outside wall was set on fire and destroyed sometime during the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12.

James Patrick Woods said he displayed the flag in support of D.C.’s LGBT Pride weekend and he’s troubled that someone would go so far as to set it on fire.

“It is appalling to us,” he told the Washington Blade. “I don’t think it was targeting my restaurant. But to me it is a hate crime.”

Woods said the D.C. hate crimes hotline didn’t immediately respond to his call for an investigation into the incident. He said he planned to call the police LGBT Liaison Unit to report the incident.

“I will replace it and hang it again,” he said.

The flag burning incident at D.C. Bourbon at 2321 18th St., N.W. took place the same day an unknown suspect spray painted the words “Down with the gay agenda” on the sidewalk outside the Thaiphoon restaurant at 2011 S St., N.W., near Dupont Circle.

It couldn’t immediately be determined whether the suspects responsible for the rainbow flag burning and the graffiti outside Thaiphoon restaurant were prompted to take their action by the news of the shooting deaths of 49 patrons of the Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub Pulse.

Sometime after the anti-gay message appeared on the sidewalk outside Thaiphoon restaurant in black spray paint someone else used red paint to change the phrase “gay” agenda to “gun” agenda.

anti-gay, gay news, Washington Blade

An unknown person changed the message ‘Down with the gay agenda’ on the sidewalk outside Thaiphoon restaurant to “Down with gun agenda.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • Both incidents are hate crimes under DC law. Injury to property is specifically listed as a “designated act” in DC’s hate rimes law (Bias-Related Crimes Act). The perpetrators are targeting the LGBT-supportive restaurant –AND– its LGBT customers. Burning the flag may be an implied threat of arson — or worse.

    So yes, indeed, take this incident VERY SERIOUSLY,

    It is shameful that MPD and Assistant Chief Diane Groomes and MPD’s LGBTLU unit, for which she is responsible, has not given these two anti-LGBTQ hate crimes proper attention.

    Mayor Bowser should be publicly denouncing these anti-LGBT hate crimes as well.

    Report the hate crime to MPD and demand a LGBTLU officer make the 251 report, with its suspected hate crime checkoff. Make sure the officer gives you a CCN number —and– after 24 hours, get a copy (free to injured parties) of the 251 Report from any MPD district office. Then review the 251 incident report, including its narrative section closely for accuracy.

    Also, a copy helps the restaurant owner(s) (and patrons or others, if necessary) can followup and make sure MPD doesn’t try to bury the case.

    BTW, the restaurant and its patrons may have CIVIL remedies available to them against the perpetrators under that same law…

    I commented on the first incident in WaPo– with a few additional relevant links…


  • “Down with the gay agenda”!

    Didn’t anyone tell them we had a meeting a decided its now called the Homo-schedule.

  • What cowards – strike by night and bravely burn a flag and spray graffiti on a sidewalk. It’s the knuckle-dragging crowd who feel threatened because WE’RE WINNING!

    • Winning? Talk like this is what incites hate. Relax and do you. All this “Hey look at me, I’m gay” talk creates more separation. Can’t you see that?

      • So what you’re saying is that we should all be secretive and not let anyone know anything about us, or they may want to kill us?

        • Dude what are you reading? Secretive? Why would you deserve that? I clearly wrote relax and do you. You are a human being just like me. Everyone knows gay people exist. I have lots of tolerance, but I’ve seen with my own eyes instances when gay couples go out of their way to make people uncomfortable with unnecessary PDA. Straight or gay it’s wrong to do that around young children. I don’t think you or anyone should be killed. Just know that there are people out there that aren’t of sane mind, like that idiot in Orlando or that psycho white guy in Cali that showed up to the Pride festival for target practice.

          • Tazzari mentioned gays are “winning”. Ok what exactly are you “winning”? I’m asking so I have a better understanding of what you’re trying to say.

          • To play jesuit – I think the ‘winning’ is referring to ‘the right to exist as they are, free from discrimination and molestation’ You know, what straight people get by virtue of being straight.

          • I appreciate your comment, but when I see the term “winning”, I think of competition. That leads to the discussion of people that support gay rights and those that don’t.

            The last couple of years there has been more homosexuality injected in mainstream movies and music. Gay activists have stressed that the culture needs to be represented in a positive manner so it becomes more of a natural sight. I get it. With America being a county that was built on Christianity there was bound to be some backlash, which we have seen. The Muslim religion is just like many others. You have those that preach love and understanding and those that become radicalized. Some people will never be able to accept the gay culture.

            I look at the gay flag as a symbol of separation. If you’re gay that’s your right, but why is there a need to rub your sexuality in people’s faces? It’s your personal business. Woman or male, if I see you share a kiss or holding hands guess what I’m going to assume you are gay. I respect that. It’s the people that go overboard with trying to make people uncomfortable by announcing their arrival then saying “oh I’m just proud” that are getting innocent people hurt.

          • As a person with a disability, I like being assertive and stand up for myself in all things. If you think for one second that I’ll ever apologize for making some poor snowflake normal uncomfortable….think again. Since my sexuality runs pretty much in the range of middle of the road straight, you’d think my being affectionate with the spousal unit would slip under the average conservative’s radar. I’ve been told we’re sinning cos I’m unable to have kids and my husband should marry a normal female instead a tool of the devil…etc etc But whatever.

            I would never say I understand what hurtful vicious crap an LGBT person has to put up with from their point of view, but I understand the feeling of being the “other”.

            People who are middle of the road normal in most things never seem to realize how off putting they can be to anyone different from themselves.

          • I understand what you are saying and I apologize on behalf of those that would say such evil things to you. Myself being a straight male, I’ve had these conversations with my gay friends. Some are open and flamboyant, others are open but laid back. I had a gay friend look at another gay guy and say “he’s doing too much” lol its really awesome to talk to people in a public forum and try to see where their head is at. Everyone is so different, but everyone deserves respect.

          • Definitely.

          • Ryan, by YOUR OWN EXAMPLE (PDA) Heteros do it EVERY MOMENT OF THEIR LIVES in public: on the street, the subway, sucking face in restaurants, holding hands and other portions of the anatomy in public, wearing wedding rings CONSTANTLY shoving THEIR personal lives in our faces. WHY is it “wrong to do that around young children” to show show true LOVE?
            Do you ALSO condemn the heteros who engage in PDAs and “hey I’m Hetero” talk??
            WE have EVERY RIGHT to love the person whom we choose, AND to show that love as well as every hetero couple out there.

          • Thank you for responding, and yes I did state that excessive PDA by any gender is not for the public. You do have every right you stated and I have no objection to you nor will I judge you.

          • You sound sort of bitter.

          • And when you’re that socially Darwinist as the view you espouse, ‘surviving’ is winning.

          • Straight sloppy PDA occurs round the clock. Your critique of gay behavior is hypocritical. Double standards undermine your position. You should start warning straight PDA people that they may become targets of the Pink Panthers who are a bit testy right now.

          • Sir you can be cynical all you want. 49 people just got killed. If you’re not gay, I really don’t care for your opinion. I clearly just wrote straight or gay PDA is wrong in certain situations. How about reading before you write.

          • Why should gay PDA be treated
            differently? You are justifying hypocritical behavior and the murder of 49 people. Your snide and rude reply is not warranted or wanted. I really don’t care for your opinion either regardless of
            your orientation. We should not be subjected to different standards of behavior just because “they” are enraged.

        • Yes, we best not make da massuh mad…..da closet is the safest place.

  • In response to the desecration of the rainbow flag outside of Bourbon Adams Morgan, we are doing a “gay-in” at the establishment starting at 8pm. Please join us in solidarity as we present them a new rainbow flag and express our uninhibited love for each other and the community.

    MORE INFO: https://www.facebook.com/events/200009093729734/

    Email morgan.tepper@gmail.com with any questions

  • Last year some ass took my marriage equality sign. Lot of good that did It’s ok we got it anyway.

  • The American flag is as precious to me as the Rainbow flag is to you….your supporters burned my flag…..am I supposed to care that yours was torched? Really?

  • LGBT in SF Just burned an American flag. No big deal. It does not mean they hate America. So someone burnt theirs. What’s the big deal it’s just a flag.

    Ignore what some idiot wrote on the sidewalk and keep your life going.

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