Good cop, gay cop

March 21, 1995

Beat it: That's the message cops in San Juan, Puerto Rico had for members of the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), a group of gay and lesbian officers, who were in town for a convention. A SWAT team in full riot gear stormed into a lesbian bar in the early-morning hours of February 11 to break up a GOAL reception. Hours later, police wearing bulletproof vests and brandishing batons stormed a gay bar hosting a GOAL dance party.

A San Juan police spokesman said the officers were checking the bars' permits. But GOAL members said the raids were meant to keep San Juan officers from starting a GOAL chapter. "It certainly did send a message," said Carroll Hunter, president of GOAL's New York City chapter. "So did lynching blacks in Alabama." But José de Jesus of the United Front of Organized Police, one of two competing Puerto Rico police unions, said there are no gay or lesbian cops in San Juan. "In the Puerto Rican police," he said, "they only allow men and women. They do not allow hybrids."

SOURCE: The Advocate