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Chicago Gay Nighclub Goes Up In Flames As It Falls Victim Of Anti-Gay Arson

The Velvet Rope Ultra Lounge a gay nightclub located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park was destroyed by a fire early Sunday morning.  A fire which Oak Park Police is calling “suspicious” despite the fact that anti-gay messages were found scrawled on the bars inside walls.

Chicago Tribune reports:

The  fire was reported at about 6:25 a.m. in the Velvet Rope Ultra Lounge, 728 Lake  St., after a person in the area smelled smoke, said Oak Park Police Sgt. Anthony  Thomas. Flames charred the inside of the club, but not injuries were  reported.

While Oak Park police and fire investigators wouldn’t comment  beyond saying that they were investigating, owner Frank Elliott said authorities  were calling the morning fire suspicious.

He pointed to negative messages  written on a wall that authorities have since covered up. He also noted that a  safe hadn’t been removed from his office.

Responding Emergency workers cut out slabs of the nightclub’s walls to preserve as “key  evidence


Will Kohler

Will Kohler is one of America's best known LGBT historians, He is also a a accredited journalist and the owner of A longtime gay activist Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced on such notable media venues as BBC News, CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story. Back2Stonewall has been recently added to the Library of Congress' LGBTQ+ Studies Web Archive. Mr. Kohler is available for comment, interviews and lectures on LGBT History. Contact:

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