We wrote here about this tragedy back on June 12th and also wrote about the mass murder that occurred three years ago in Orlando. What many people don't know about the New Orleans arson at the UpStairs Lounge, is that very little was said about it being a gay bar.
Thirty two people died in that horrific fire on this date back in 1973. Some of the bodies were never claimed. Some churches refused to hold funerals. (I can recall the same thing happening during the early days of AIDS). A local Episcopal priest held a small memorial liturgy with about eighty people present. The priest received hate mail as a result and his bishop expressed sharp disapproval that the service had been held.
While this tragedy didn't get much publicity at the time, a documentary about the fire, UpStairs Inferno was released n 2015. Two years ago an Off-Broadway musical called The View Upstairs opened at The Lynn Redgrave Theater in New York City.
The most likely suspect was never charged and took his own life a year later. There was never any solid evidence proving that the arson was motivated by hate or homophobia. It was the deadliest known attack on a gay club in this country until the 2016 Pulse shooting in Orlando.