August 1, 2018 at 4:57 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Religious protesters picket Freddie’s drag show
Freddie's protesters, gay news, Washington Blade

Two protesters berated customers at Freddie’s on Saturday.

A young woman and young man carrying signs quoting the Bible staged a two-person protest July 28 outside Freddie’s Beach Bar, the Arlington, Va., gay bar and restaurant.

Freddie Lutz, owner of the establishment located in Arlington’s Crystal City section, said the two protesters arrived shortly after the bar’s weekly Saturday night drag show began. He said he quickly went outside and captured part of the protest on video with his phone.

“You will burn in hell if you don’t repent with this wicked, perverted lifestyle!” the woman protester is heard shouting on the video. “A woman shall not dress like man and a man shall not dress like a woman, for it is an abomination to the Lord,” she yelled at several Freddie’s customers who walked out on the sidewalk to watch the protest.

“You need to repent,” the woman protester continued. “The wicked shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven.”

Lutz said one of the customers who greeted the protesters and jokingly posed for a photo behind their sign saying “sexual sinners don’t go to heaven” was local filmmaker Fiona Dawson, who’s working on a film about the transgender community. According to Lutz, Dawson was celebrating her birthday on the Freddie’s patio overlooking the sidewalk when the protesters showed up.

Among those with Dawson was Amanda Simpson, who became the first openly transgender presidential appointee in 2009 when President Obama appointed her as senior technical adviser to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security.

Lutz said he invited the male protester inside Freddie’s and the two had what Lutz said was a positive dialogue.

“I said I just want you to look at this room,” Lutz recounted telling the man. “Everybody’s happy. Everybody’s getting along. I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished here,” Lutz said he told the young man. “Straight people come in here building bridges and everybody gets along. And I said you can feel the love in this room.”

Before the two went back outside Lutz said the man told him “he really appreciated me inviting him into my place.”

The protesters, who said they were affiliated with a local church, picketed and chanted religious slogans outside the club for about an hour before leaving.

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

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