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Rainbow flags set on fire outside Harlem gay bar day before LGBTQ Pride Month: police

Posted at 11:43 AM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 11:58:03-04

HARLEM — A hate crime investigation is underway after flags at Harlem’s Alibi Lounge — which says it is the only black-owned gay lounge in New York City — were set on fire, police said Friday.

Rainbow flags at the entrance of Alibi in Harlem were set on fire Friday, according to police.

According to the bar’s Instagram, someone set fire to the rainbow flags planted at the building’s entrance.

Police say it was reported at 1:15 a.m. Friday.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire, and flames were extinguished by rain.

Police confirmed the incident is being treated as a hate crime.

The incident happened the day before the start of LGBTQ Pride Month, which is celebrated each June, honoring the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan that were the tipping point for the gay rights movement in the United States.

The month ends with WorldPride on June 30, which this year will take place in New York City to commemorate the Stonewall riots’ 50th anniversary.

Alibi Lounge was opened in 2016 by former human rights attorney Alexi Minko, according to the Center for Black Equity.