In the aftermath of the Larry Craig toilet gate ” I’m not gay” I just get off in the men’s room incident it appears some police departments are now making copy cat arrests. For example in the N.Y.C. suburb county of Rockland police arrested 20 men including a priest ( shocking I know) the link is below. http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071030/NEWS03/710300364
More recently in a Florida bathroom mall local police arrested more men including a teacher. see http://www.wftv.com/news/14492089/detail.html for the details on this bathroom bust.
Now I don’t advocate public sex in public places. I strongly oppose conduct by individuals straight or gay in which they expose themselves in public especially in an area where children will be exposed . Adult sexual behavior ought to take place between consulting adults in a private location.
Police must act on the complaints made by citizens and if complaints are received by officials indicating lewd behavior by adults they must investigate the allegations. However, what disturbs me is that this enforcement and subsequent public press releases by police agencies seems to be increasing after the Craig footsie conduct at a public airport.
Do you ever see announcements such as i.e. ” Police bust Lovers Lane” 25 young couples some underage arrested for lewd behavior in town park”. Of course not and what that opens the door to is to deduce that ” selective enforcement” is being utilized.
As such gay men are being singled out for having sex in public places while heterosexuals who are also having sex in public places are not arrested. Again, I am not supporting public sex for the aforementioned reasons. But when law enforcement agencies target gay men only it reflects bias in enforcing laws. It causes disparate negative impact on gay men. Not only are the arestees publicly outed, they are shamed ( as perverts ) and vilified in the press, incur legal expenses, and the economic impact including the distinct possibility of losing a job will certainly be life altering. I recall that the singer George Michael was arrested on a similar public lewdness charge in Beverly Hills. I recall that the press also made had a field day ridiculing him.
While police agencies like the one I work for are always classifying crime data. Police respond quickly to crime trends and patterns. If the community is complaining about lewd behavior and children are being exposed to adult sex in public places the law mandates an arrest. But, do you seriously think anyone is complaining about the local lovers lanes? As such it gives police officials a neutral reason for the selective enforcement at gay public sex as opposed to heterosexual public sex.
Perhaps it is time for the gay community to conduct a study of the facts surrounding arrests for lewd behavior. I believe that the facts might suggest a disproportionate amount of lewd conduct arrests are of gay men. If that is the case it suggests selective enforcement which is discriminatory, in that gay men having sex or attempting to have sex, or meeting to have sex in public places are being arrested. In contrast to the heterosexual community who are told simply to ” move along” ” beat it” find another spot.
Trust me even Barney Frank wont’ run to the microphone to defend public lewdness. So take a leak and take a walk public bathrooms are not bathhouse’s! And speaking of bathouse’s ” The Ritz” starring Rosie Perez is a must see. So get out of the bathroom and go to broadway!