Las Vegas gay rights pioneer dies

BY Advocate.com Editors

February 17 2001 1:00 AM ET

Marge Jacques, a lesbian who owned a gay bar in Las Vegas and was one of the earliest activists for gay rights in the city, died Tuesday of cancer in Sedona, Ariz., the Las Vegas Sun reports. She was 66. Jacques moved to Las Vegas in 1957 and opened her first gay club in 1970. “When she opened her first club in 1970, everything was totally repressed, and she was constantly facing the threat of being shut down,” local historian Dennis McBride said. “She was probably the first openly gay person to go out and speak on behalf of Las Vegas’s gay community.” Jacques owned Le Cafe from 1970 until it burned down in 1979. She then opened two other bars, the Other Place and the Gypsy. Her “Gay Notes” newsletter from Le Cafe was the first gay publication in Las Vegas, McBride said. Jacques and her bartenders also served as delegates to state Democratic conventions in order to fight antigay platform planks.

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