The activists failed to encounter discrimination at Howard Johnson’s (where the manager said "I don’t think the government has any right to question a man’s sex life") and at Waikiki ("a Mafia-owned Tiki bar," where the manager said "How do I know you’re homosexuals? Give these guys a drink on us.") They continued to Julius’, the West 10th Street where they knew that "the night before, a man who had been served there had later been entrapped by an officer for 'gay activity,' meaning the bar was in jeopardy of having its liquor license revoked":
As they entered, the men spied a sign that read “Patrons Must Face the Bar While Drinking,” an instruction used to thwart cruising. As soon as Mr. Leitsch approached, the bartender put a glass in front of him. When the men announced they were gay, the bartender put his hand over the glass; it was captured in a photograph by Fred McDarrah for The Village Voice.Photo at the link.
According to Mr. Wicker and Mr. Leitsch, their battle to be served was a subset of a larger issue: the ritualized police entrapment of gay men for intent to have sex. “With this action, we were entrapping them into obeying the law,” Mr. Wicker said.Later, there was the Stonewall uprising, and Leitsch "said he felt instantly overshadowed by a younger, louder generation," but, as the NYT puts it today, long after slurring Leitsch as a "deviate":
The next day’s New York Times featured an article about the event with the headline “3 Deviates Invite Exclusion by Bars.”...
His pioneering efforts, which included showing his full face to TV cameras, instead of cloaking his identity in shadow, a common practice at the time, became old news overnight. “The day before Stonewall, I was the only gay person,” Mr. Leitsch said. “The day after, everybody was gay.”