Gay and lesbian bar owners in Midtown say they're being unfairly - CBS46 News

Gay and lesbian bar owners in Midtown say they're being unfairly targeted

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

The owners of some gay and lesbian bars in Midtown Atlanta say they're being unfairly targeted by residents who are allegedly filing noise complaints against them for no reason.

Lydia Gerzel, co-founder of the Facebook group "I am Midtown", is fired up about relatively new neighbors filing noise complaints with Atlanta Police. 

"We're the ones who fixed up this neighborhood. We're not going anywhere and you can call the cops but we're not going anywhere," says Gerzel. "They build a condo on top of one of the oldest and largest gay clubs in Atlanta, but they want the peace and quiet as if they live in the suburbs. When we try to speak with them, try to come down to something, their answer is always, "we're going to shut this place down."

In just a few months, the "I am Midtown" Facebook page has gained nearly 800 members. The page was created to preserve the character and fabric of the neighborhood.

CBS46 asked City Hall to weigh in and the mayor's office sent us this statement:

"Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is aware of the alleged false noise violation reports against some of the long-standing neighborhood LGBTQ bars. 
Atlanta's LGBTQ community are a critical part of our city's diversity and harassment of any kind will not be tolerated in the City of Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Gerzel says anyone moving into the area should be aware of what the neighborhood represents.

"This is the fabric of the community, if you move to 10th and Piedmont, you're moving into the downtown area of the gay community and you need to respect that," says Gerzel.

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