Gay & Lesbian Community Center Receives Threat

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Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center
  • Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center
On Thursday, the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center (MGLCC) received a message from someone threatening to harm the people who visit the center and the center's property at 892 S. Cooper.

Will Batts, MGLCC's executive director, said the center receives "vile, bigoted, disturbing communications from individuals" occasionally, but he said this one was different because it specifically threatened people and property. Batts could not offer specifics about the threat or where it came from because it is under active investigation by the Memphis Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Batts said the center's board has begun reviewing its security measures, polices, and procedures. They are making enhancements to security where needed.

"We talk about this as a safe space, so we need to make sure that it's not only mentally safe but also physically safe," Batts said. 

Batts said that, as the county draws nearer to the expected June Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, LGBT organizations across the country have to consider enhanced safety measures.

A statement from Batts was issued to the media on Friday afternoon. It says, "We take seriously the role we play as a physical symbol of our community’s strength, courage and perseverance. We will continue business as usual. All of us on the staff and the board of MGLCC remain committed to our mission and will continue working every day to ensure our equal rights, and to be safe, respected and celebrated."

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