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Houston Voice, May 26, 2006
File 004
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Houston Voice, May 26, 2006 - File 004. 2006-05-26. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 17, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3769/show/3751.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2006-05-26). Houston Voice, May 26, 2006 - File 004. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3769/show/3751

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, May 26, 2006 - File 004, 2006-05-26, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 17, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3769/show/3751.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, May 26, 2006
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Ford, Nancy
Publisher Window Media
Date May 26, 2006
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 004
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com MAY 26, 2006 3 r Memorial Park is site of HPD sting operation ■liston news ARRESTS, continued from Page 1 narcotics to other illicit activity. When asked if the Parks Department had a policy on restroom closures, Estella Espinosa, communications manager with the Houston Parks & Recreation Department, said that the restrooms are locked between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. every day. According to Wright, Captain Steve Jett of the Vice Division reported the arrests occurred between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., hours when the doors should have been unlocked and the restrooms accessible. Wright said when he told Jett that some of the men claimed there were locks on the doors of the bathroom. Jett laughed, saying, "That is not true at all." Wright continued, "If that's what they're saying, they don't have a leg to stand on." In court it will be the word of officers against the word of the men charged. But even if the restroom doors were padlocked, Texas law would not guarantee the charges against the men men would be dropped due to illegal entrapment. Simply providing an opportunity to commit a crime does not constitute entrapment. And with officers claiming that it was the men who attempted to engage the plain-clothes officers in illicit activity, the men charged may have no case. However, in other parts of the country, organizations have challenged law enforcement procedure in court and won. Public sex laws applied unfairly? Gay watchdog groups insist they aren't condoning illegal public sex, but the issue to them is whether police are applying the law equally to public sex involving heterosexuals and that involving only men. To them, the question becomes: Are two men found having sex in a park arrested, when a heterosexual couple having sex a hundred feet away just told to move along? The answer is that records of public lewdness and the context in which the arrests were made are nearly impossible to quantify However, the concern remains that gay men are specifically being targeted. Historically, the vast majority of public lewdness arrests .ston'BejfA, °'""pJu»Ok-') 7B-944-6010 1207 SPENCER HIGHWAY SOUTH -HOUSTON 1-4510 COLLEGE EXH IflT 2MIES GlfTS • CLOTHING • BOOKS • TOYS • MUSIC • NOYRTKS Both the front and back gates to the restroom facilities off Picnic Lane in Memorial Park were unlocked and accessible on May 19, when this photi But activists say that wasn't the case when 30 men were arrested in late April. (Photo by Nancy Ford) made are of men and the dozens of published new stories across Texas concerning stings in parks and other public areas where only men are swept up back that claim. The Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, a GLBT civil rights organization, sued the Los Angeles police department in 2000 seeking records of public lewdness arrests for the prior three years. After spotlighting the imbalance of male public lewdness charges, arrests suddenly dropped. And in Detroit, the Triangle Foundation with the help of their local American Civil Liberties Union obtained roughly 300 arrest records. The results in both investigations were compelling. Each found that arrestees were overwhelmingly male and officers were using the same language to describe the conduct in arrest reports. The use of boilerplate language in arrest reports implies that police did not differentiate between cases, activists say, and that is among the issues of contention raised by the Memorial Park arrests. "The amazing thing to me is that the prosecutors in this case know the officers are lying because they tell the same lie in every case using the exact same words," Hill said. "Human behavior is not so well- patterned that everybody does the exact same thing in the same way. "I'm going to have to wait until these cases get tried," Hill continued, "but I intend to go down and assert to the police chief that certainly his staff seems to be acting out some prejudice-motivated law enforcment." The success of organizations in fighting lopsided justice hasn't succeeded in shutting down such sting operations, in Texas or elsewhere. Too often, activists say. the men arrested simply want the matter to go away and will not agree to a legal challenge. In many cases, men who cruise pub lic parks are married to women and have families, multiplying the states. Even an openly gay man may have qualms about waging such a potentially humiliating battle in court, activists say Most choose not to fight the charges. "The problem with that is." Hill explained, "because of the Draconian sex registration laws in Texas, if you plead guilty, then you have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life." Hill received a call from the wife of one of the men arrested in Memorial Park in April. "She wanted to know if I had any advice," he said. "She said he was going to go in there and plead guilty and pay whatever it costs to get out of it because he's so embarrassed." That is precisely what HPD is banking on, according to Hill. "They prey on vulnerable people and their only objective is to get the conviction." Q-VIIDEO FOMUIY hlam Ml! Rent 3 Videos 6n 1 Video Fm! VIDEO Over 6,000 Titles DVD & VHS! mum you HomiOH fOR 20 VlArK AHO WUHIING I Open 7 Days 11 am - Midnight 1415 California-713.522,4485 ge SWIMSUITS ARE NOW HERE!! FOR TOPS & BOTTOMS?? 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