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The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) notified Governor Jay Inslee Friday that it is no longer enforcing the state’s lewd conduct law in response to recent “raid” accusations from Seattle-area LGBTQ+ bars.

LCB says it partnered with the City of Seattle Joint Enforcement Team (JET) last week, which resulted in additional enforcement work at some historically gay Seattle venues.

The JET consists of Seattle Police, Seattle Fire, and other code enforcement agencies. Much of the Seattle queer community felt blindsided by these unannounced visits from JET, where they tried to enforce nudity laws in places that sell alcohol.

LCB says it has become aware of the fear and alarm it raised within the LGBTQ+ community, and is now taking immediate steps to prevent a repeat of last weekend’s events.

This includes:

  • Suspending enforcement of the lewd conduct rule while the board considers possible changes or modifications
  • Suspending participation with the JET
  • Not issuing any citations or violations related to last weekend’s events
  • Preparing to review, amend, or repeal lewd conduct regulations
  • Working with legislators to protect LGBTQ+ communities
  • Reviewing past practices and policies based on recent complaints
  • Continuing to engage with the LGBTQ+ community

READ: Woman attacked by neighbors; family believes it was hate crime, warns LGBTQ community

LCB says it hopes to establish a strong relationship with the LGBTQ+ community and looks forward to sharing its progress in the future.

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