Massresistance Update In our last email we reported that because the Boston mayoral election was getting close, the Mayor of Boston was quietly having police crack down on homosexuals engaging in public sex in city parks.
Well, that didn't last too long. When the homosexual lobby and the ultra-pro gay Boston Globe started getting involved, the Boston Police apparently backed down pretty fast.
This past Monday morning the Boston Globe had a fairly prominent article on Page 1 of the Metro Section. The Globe put its own spin on it, of course, describing the "civil rights" that people have to engage in public sex.
Reaction mixed to police focus on Fens Some feel it puts civil rights at risk
By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff September 21, 2009
. . . For the last few weeks, police in cars and motorcycles have patrolled the Fens off Boylston Street for about 16 hours a day, a move that has thrilled many of the gardeners, who want to tend their radishes, tomatoes, and dahlias without encountering debris from some of the more unsavory uses of the park. But one person's vision of a cleaner, safer park is another person's possible civil rights violation. Some are concerned that the patrols may be targeting gay men, who often use the reeds as cover for their trysts . . .
"Our experience in the past is that whenever police go into a gay cruising area, civil rights problems result,'' said Don Gorton, president of the Anti-Violence Project of Massachusetts, a gay-rights advocacy group. "Oftentimes when there are reports or concerns [about crime], the police go in and sweep everyone out. They say 'leave.' And that tends to deny gay men access to public land. And that's discrimination. That's the danger we're trying to avoid . . .''
[MassResistance NOTE: Don Gorton was one of the organizers of the gay-activist attack on Park Street Church last spring. See our report HERE.]
If the police presence also has the effect of deterring public sex, many of the parkgoers see that as a welcome development, while others contend the patrols are overly oppressive. For many who tend the Fenway Victory Gardens, sex in the reeds has been a bane. Gardeners say they have often found used condoms, soiled clothes, and other garbage discarded in their rose bushes . . .
Tim Horn, president of the Fenway Garden Society, said that one afternoon, he saw two men having sex inside the gardens. . .
"Whatever [police] have to do to get our gardens safe, I'm willing to follow along,'' Horn said, adding that since the police have been present, he has seen more families and children at the park . . .
"We're targeting people who are engaging in behavior that's destructive to others: vandalism, the drug abuse,'' said Superintendent-in-chief Daniel Linskey. . .
But he emphasized that officers have not arrested anyone for public sex and that the goal of their increased presence was never to deter sex in the reeds. Linskey and Gorton, along with other groups representing gay rights, plan to meet tomorrow to discuss potential civil rights violations. Gorton asked for the meeting after he read of the increased police presence in Bay Windows, a weekly paper about the gay community.
Civil rights lawyers say that people engaging in sexual activity outdoors are not breaking the law as long as they are shielding themselves from public view.
The following day the Globe published their lead editorial on this seemingly minor issue. They're happy to have police presence -- as long as they ignore public sex by homosexuals. In fact, they suggest that the police should "protect the pleasure seekers" in their activities!
Policing: Welcome presence in the Fens Boston Globe Editorial September 22, 2009
Extra police presence is welcome around the Back Bay Fens area, despite concerns by some gay-rights activists that the deployment is designed to suppress gay cruising in the area. The police have shown no motive other than a desire to deal with an uptick in aggravated assaults while offering protection to community gardeners and others who stroll through. The patrols may also protect the pleasure seekers themselves, who are sometimes targets of criminals.
The activists, no doubt, remember the days when urban police looked for excuses to expose and humiliate gay people. But attitudes have changed, and Boston police take a low-key approach toward trysts in the Fens. They don't seek to harass or arrest anyone in the high weeds who takes precautions against being seen by passersby. That's consistent with the laws on public sex. But police aren't promoting a Saturnalia, either. If anyone in search of anonymous sex is discomfited by the sight of police cruisers or bike patrols, they should get a room.
Consistent with laws on public sex??? We don't think so. It's more consistent with deals that the police departments have made with homosexual activist groups over the years, particularly the radical (and publicly funded) legal group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).
(GLAD is now pushing to decriminalize even more open public sex. They had a forum in January 2008 called "Sex on the Margins." We heard the discussion was "out there.")