Four San Francisco teen-agers recently got the surprise of their young lives. Tooling around in their souped-up car looking for a little fun, they spotted two homosexuals leaving the Naked Grape, a well-known gay bar. The youths roared to a stop, jumped out of their car and began to push the homosexuals around. Suddenly a brawny band, led by a man in a clerical collar, leaped from a gray Volkswagen bus and lit into them. “We didn’t even ask questions,” said the Rev. Ray Broshears, 38. “We just took out our pool cues and started flailing ass.” The teen-agers fled into the night, only to return ten minutes later, begging for their car: “Look, man, we don’t want no trouble.”
The group they most assuredly did not want trouble with was the Lavender Panthers, a stiff-wristed team of gay vigilantes who have taken to the streets of San Francisco to protect their confreres against just such attacks. Formed by the Rev. Ray, a Pentecostal Evangelist and known homosexual who himself was once beaten severely outside his gay mission center, the Panthers patrol the streets nightly with chains, billy clubs, whistles and cans of red spray paint (a substitute for forbidden Mace). Their purpose, as the Rev. Ray candidly puts it, is to strike terror in the hearts of “all those young punks who have been beating up my faggots.”
Time magazine, October 1973.
The article concludes:
Ray insists that his Draconian measures are necessary. “Middle America has always had a little tinge of homophobia,” he says. “But I’ve had it up to here. All this queer bashing has simply got to stop.”