Showing posts with label Gay Arrests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Arrests. Show all posts

November 9, 2018

Tanzania Arrested 10 Men for Conducting Gay Wedding in Zanzibar



Stone Town: Local people on a street in Stone Town. Stone Town is the old part of Zanzibar City, the capital of Zanzibar, Tanzania
 Zanzibar
BBC


Ten men have been arrested for allegedly conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. 
The arrests were made on Saturday night at a beach resort, a senior police officer told the BBC. 
In recent years there have been a number of measures that appear to have targeted homosexuals in Tanzania.
But this week the Tanzanian government distanced itself from anti-gay rhetoric from a prominent politician.
No charges have yet been brought against the men, all Tanzanian, who are being held at a police station. 
Six other men escaped after police, who are believed to have received a tip-off from members of the public, raided the party, according to rights group Amnesty International
Amnesty's East Africa Deputy Director Seif Magango said that it was "mind-boggling that the mere act of sitting in a pair can assume criminal proportions".
He added that he feared the men may be subjected to forced anal examination and called for their immediate release.

Surveillance squads

The arrests come after Paul Makonda, the regional commissioner for the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, last week called on the public to report the names of suspected gay men to the police.
He further said he would set up a surveillance squad to track down gay people.
Tanzania's government, however, distanced itself from the move, saying that "Mr Makonda was only airing his personal opinion", not government policy.
It added that the government would "continue to respect and uphold all human rights as provided for in the country's constitution".

Anti-gay rhetoric

Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania, where statements against homosexuals have been on the rise since President John Magufuli's election in 2015.
Tanzania also deported three South African lawyers after they were accused of promoting homosexuality. 
They were among 13 people arrested for taking part in a meeting to discuss challenging a law stopping private health clinics from providing HIV and Aids services.

October 23, 2018

Two Men Arrested for Creating a Facebook Page for Gays in Indonesia







JAKARTA, INDONESIA: 
Indonesia has arrested two people in Java island for running a Facebook page for gays, accusing them of publishing pornography, the media reported today.
In 2015, the couple had set up a Facebook page "Gay Bandung Indonesia", with more than 4,000 members.
West Java police spokesperson Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko told Efe news that the two were arrested on Thursday and those investigations by the public prosecutor's office were underway.
Once they are formally charged under the Law on Electronic Information and Transactions (EIT), the two could face a maximum of six years in prison and a fine of up to one billion rupiahs ($66,000) if convicted.
According to Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch Indonesia, this was the first time that the EIT law was being used against the LGBT community.
It was earlier used to crack down on pornography, he added.
Aceh, in Sumatra island, is the only province in Indonesia where homosexuality is illegal.
The arrests are being seen as yet another assault on the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community in the country.

In February, the country's Information Ministry had blocked more than 200 mobile applications and websites with content related to homosexuality.

Indo-Asian News Service 

April 4, 2018

Band of Religious Zealots Arrested 4 Men for Suspicion of Having Sex With Other Men



(Indonesia) Canning a man on suspision of being gay (or having sex with another man)


BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (Reuters) 
Rights activists called on Tuesday for Indonesia’s Aceh province to release four people detained on suspicion of having homosexual sex, amid concerns over the persecution of the LGBT community in the world’s third-largest democracy.
Secular Indonesia is predominantly Muslim but ultra-conservative Aceh is the only province to follow sharia, or Islamic law, and criminalise gay sex. 
Indonesia’s parliament is currently debating revisions to the national criminal code that could criminalise all sex outside marriage, including same-sex relations. Many believe the new rules could be used to unfairly target the LGBT community and other minority groups.
Authorities said the four suspects were rounded up by vigilantes and police and, if convicted, could face up to 100 lashes in public.
“We are completing their files and will soon hand over to prosecutors,” said Marzuki, head of sharia police investigations in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh. 
Human Rights Watch said the punishment “constitutes torture under international human rights law”.
“Acehnese authorities should release the four and protect the public from marauding vigilantes who target vulnerable minorities,” said Graeme Reid, director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights programme at Human Rights Watch. 
The provincial and central governments drew international condemnation last year when, for the first time, Aceh authorities publicly caned two men who were convicted under the province’s anti-homosexuality laws, which were introduced in 2014. 
Vigilantes and religious police in Aceh often raid homes and places of work and detain people on suspicion of engaging in homosexual activity.
Aceh police detained 12 transgender women earlier this year and publicly shamed them by forcing them to cut their hair and dress in “masculine” clothing.
They were later released without charge, but activists say many have since gone into hiding for fear of further raids.
(Reporting by
 stringer in BANDA ACEH; Additional reporting and writing by Kanupriya Kapoor)
These crazies don't just go for gays. Time reported the following story in 2014 and thngs have not change much since then  because things change very slowly in these small provinces in Indonesia; What comes quickly is the dishing out of the punishment, many times on suspision only.

It all began when a group of eight men raided a woman’s home last week and caught a 25-year-old widow with a married man. Accusing them of adultery, the vigilantes, who included a 13-year-old boy, beat up the 40-year-old man, gang-raped the woman and doused the two with sewage before turning them over to the Shari‘a police.
Despite what happened, the Shari‘a police in Langsa, in the Indonesian province of Aceh, said it wouldn’t show any leniency and insisted the woman, along with her companion, would be caned in public for alleged adultery.
“They violated the religious bylaw on sexual relations,” the local Shari‘a police chief Ibrahim Latif told local media on Tuesday. “They have to be [caned] as a form of justice. The rapists will also be processed, but in a criminal court.”

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January 30, 2018

Transgender Women in Indonesia Detained After Forced Hair Cuts


A man cuts the hair of two transgender women, their faces blurred
The transgender women were forced to have their hair cut short

Image copyright  

This was posted by By BBC Indonesian
Several beauty salons in Aceh province were raided over the weekend and transgender women working there taken to the local police station. 
The transgender women, who were also forced to wear men's clothes, will be held for three days.
Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that has strict Islamic religious law.
The move has been condemned by human rights groups.
Transgender women are known locally as waria, a word that combines the Indonesian words for men and women.
Local Police Chief Ahmad Untung Surianata told the BBC: "We are holding them for three days to give them counseling and coaching. It's going well and now they are all acting like real men."
While on the phone to the BBC, he yelled at the transgender women: "Are you still waria now?"
The transgender women lying on the floor, surrounded by police officers, after being arrested
Police raided the salons late on Saturday
They replied quietly, sounding clearly under pressure, that they were not.
Image copyright 
Police in Indonesia has detained 12 transgender women, cutting their long hair and saying they were "coaching" them to behave like "real men".
He said his team had carried out the raid, dubbed "Operation Anti Moral Illness", after neighbours complained about the "negative influence" the transgender community could have on their children. 
The Indonesian National Commission of Human Rights has condemned the raids, saying the police acted outside the law and their actions were inhuman.  
"All citizens deserve protection and to be treated equally," Commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara told the BBC.
"After seeing photos of the raid and the information we have received so far about the raid, it's clear that they violated the police code of conduct. The job of the police should be to protect people, particularly the vulnerable." 
Aceh was granted special rights to introduce its own stricter Islamic laws more than a decade ago, and has become increasingly conservative in recent years.
While it is not against Sharia in Aceh to be transgender, gay sex is illegal, and last year two men became the first couple to be publicly caned for the act. Indonesia as a whole has a long and vibrant transgender culture and tradition, which has historically broadly been met with tolerance from the public, BBC Indonesian editor Rebecca Henschke reports. 
Members of a boarding school for transgender people perform during a fashion contest
 Transgender culture is accepted in other parts of Indonesia

In some parts of the archipelago, waria are revered as divine people.
But in recent years there has been rising anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) sentiment across the country, with a wave of hatred directed towards the community from religious leaders and some of the country's leading politicians.
Even in the capital Jakarta - once a relatively safe space - police have carried out a series of raids on bars popular with the LGBT community, and jailed gay men caught in them under the country's controversial pornography laws.

September 27, 2017

Seven Men Arrested in Cairo for Raising The Rainbow Flag at Concert




The raising of the rainbow flag was a rare public show of support for the LGBT community in the conservative Muslim country.



Egyptian authorities have arrested seven people they accuse of being gay and promoting homosexuality for allegedly raising the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement at a concert last week, even though there is no law banning the practices.
The flag was a rare sign of support for highly marginalized homosexuals in conservative Egypt. It took place at a Cairo performance on Friday by popular Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou' Leila, a jazzy, electro-Arabesque group whose lead singer is openly gay.
The seven were arrested on Monday and charged with "inciting immorality," security officials said, adding that the Supreme State Security Prosecution acted after authorities discovered the seven had "raised the flag of homosexuals." The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.
Homosexuality is highly taboo in Egypt among both majority Muslims and the Christian minority, but it is not explicitly prohibited by law. In practice, however, the state regularly seeks to prosecute individuals under alternative charges, including "immorality" and "debauchery," which are normally reserved for prostitution.
Prosecutors also sometimes charge gay people with "blasphemy," which is also considered a crime in a country with severe limits on free speech.
Shortly after the concert, images and videos of the flag-raising went viral, with some praising the move but others posting virulent attacks on social media. An exasperated host on one television channel urged Reza Ragab, the deputy head of the official musicians union, to explain how such a thing could have happened "on Egyptian soil."
"We are against gay art," Ragab said in a phone interview on AlAssema TV. "It is depraved art."
He said the band had all the necessary permits, including approval by the ubiquitous state security services, but added that the union would ban the group from further performances.
Mashrou' Leila has played in Egypt before, although the group was twice banned from performing in Jordan over allegations its musicians violate the kingdom's traditions and commit blasphemy. It is one of the Arab world's few rock acts to gain significant resonance in the West, playing its Arabic-language fusion to a growing number of fans in Europe and the United States.
The band on its Facebook page called the Cairo show, held in a mall in an upscale suburb, one of the best they had ever played, and that it had been an "honor to play to such a wonderful crowd." The feed became a culture war battle zone in subsequent posts, however, with some users hurling insults while others defended the group.
Egypt regularly arrests gay men, with large police raids on parties or other locations such as bath houses occasionally creating media sensations.
The most famous raid was in 2001, when 52 men were arrested at a dance party on a floating nightclub moored on the Nile called the Queen Boat. The men were put on trial in a highly publicized proceeding during which they were mocked in the media, which published photos of them as well as names and addresses. Almost half were sentenced to prison after a trial that was widely criticized by human rights groups and Western governments.

September 26, 2017

Over 100 LGBT Held in Baku Round Up {That's How it Started in Chechnya}



 This was on Saturday, gay arrests




Dozens Held in Baku LGBT Roundup


Activists draw parallel to last spring’s brutal crackdown on Chechen gays.


At least 100 gay men and transgender women were detained in Baku in a series of raids last week, in what officials described as a crackdown on prostitution.

LGBT activists said the detainees were subjected to beatings, verbal abuse, and forced medical examinations, and trans women had their heads forcibly shaven, the Swedish group Civil Rights Defenders said.

An Interior Ministry spokesman told Caucasian Knot the police “had to take measures in connection with the fact that recently people of non-traditional sexual orientation engaged in prostitution gather regularly in certain places in the center of the city in the evening and violate public order.”

"In our country, representatives of sexual minorities have never been persecuted. However, this does not mean that they are exempt from liability for illegal actions,” the ministry official said.

A prominent LGBT activist, Javid Nabiyev, told Pink News that “suddenly, without any clear reasons to us, police officers organized raids against gay and transgender people.”

“It’s unclear what prompted the roundup, or how many people have been affected," he added.

The Interior Ministry spokesman said appeals by citizens prompted the police to act, but one human rights activist said there had been no roundup of gay prostitutes in Baku for 10 or 12 years.

“Since then, as far as I know, no such raids were conducted. But lately there has been a lot of talk about the fact that representatives of this category of people have again started gathering in the center of the city,” Arzu Abdullayeva of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly told Caucasian Knot.

“In general, people of non-traditional [sexual] orientation are not oppressed. But there is an increased intolerance in society towards people of non-traditional orientation who are engaged in prostitution,” Abdullayeva said.

Many detainees were reportedly releases only after turning over the addresses of other LGBT people, who were then in turn arrested “and subjected to the same treatment, Civil Rights Defenders said.

An undetermined number were sentenced to either 20 or 30 days of administrative detention.


  • If confirmed, the reports of men being pressured to turn over information about other gays carry an echo of events in Chechnya last spring, when security forces allegedly rounded up and tortured hundreds of gay men, several of whom were reportedly killed by their families once released. Chechnya continues to deny the reports.

  • An official at the Russian Embassy in Ottawa said Canada could face consequences if it was found to have violated Russian law by helping Russian gays enter the country as refugees, The Globe and Mail reported on 5 September.

  • The Canadian government worked in secret with human rights groups to organize the transfer of the 31 men from Russia, CBC reported. Earlier this month the Toronto-based rights group Rainbow Railroad said 22 of the men had arrived in Canada.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer
tol.org

August 1, 2017

The Arrest of 40 Gay Men in Nigeria Will Have An Impact On The HIV Fight in That Country






ABUJA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The mass arrest of more than 40 Nigerian men suspected by police of performing homosexual acts at a party in Lagos could hinder efforts to stem the spread of HIV in the country, a leading gay rights activist said on Monday.

The men were arrested on Saturday afternoon at a private party in a Lagos hotel, where attendees were offered counseling and testing for the virus which causes AIDS, said Bisi Alimi, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activist.

A police spokesman told local media on Sunday that about 40 "suspected homosexuals were arrested", and said they would soon appear in court to face charges. The police and state government for Lagos were not immediately available to comment on the case.

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill in 2014 criminalizing same-sex relationships in Nigeria. It banned gay marriage, same-sex "amorous relationships" and membership of gay rights groups with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

"These men were trying to save their lives and make their country better by preventing the spread of HIV," Alimi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Britain, having moved from Nigeria after facing death threats for coming out as gay.

Nigeria has the highest HIV rate in West and Central Africa - with around one in 30 or 3.5 million people infected with the virus - according to data from the U.N. AIDS program (UNAIDS).

Yet the anti-gay law has hindered civil society groups which work with LGBT people in Nigeria and deterred the community from seeking and sticking with HIV prevention, treatment, and support services, rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.

"This case is heartbreaking ... so soon after the arrests at the wedding in Zaria," added Alimi, director of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, which promotes social acceptance of LGBT Nigerians.

Fifty-four people went on trial in Zaria in northern Nigeria in May on charges connected to allegations that they were celebrating a gay wedding, which are illegal under the 2014 law. The trial was adjourned, and it is unclear when it will resume.

Reporting By Kieran Guilbert and Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org



July 20, 2017

Decriminalization of Gay Sex in 1967 Did Not Stop Arrests Instead They Skyrocketed



 Alan Turing a British Intelligence hero and math genius was chemically castrated for being a homosexual and even having a boy friend causing him to commit suicide.



The criminalisation of homosexuality did not end in the UK until 2013 – a full 46 years after the Sexual Offences Act 1967. So don’t be misled by the celebrations on 27 July, which will mark the fiftieth anniversary of this legislation. The 1967 Act was just a start. It was the first gay law reform since anal sex was made a crime in 1533, during the reign of King Henry VIII, and since all other sexual acts between men were outlawed in 1885. My research reveals that the liberalization of 1967 was not as liberal as many people believe. An estimated 15,000 – 20,000 gay and bisexual men were convicted in the decades that followed. That’s because homosexuality was only partly decriminalized.

 The remaining anti-gay laws were policed even more aggressively than before, by a State that continued to oppose LGBT acceptance and equality. 15,000-20,000 gay and bisexual men were convicted of gay acts after the liberalization law of 1967 In total, in the 128 years from 1885 to 2013, I calculate that around 100,000 men were convicted of consenting same-sex acts. 

Many were jailed and nearly all suffered devastating knock-on consequences: they lost their jobs and marriages, families and friends disowned them and they were abused and sometimes assaulted in the street. 

Many descended into a downward spiral of depression, alcoholism, mental illness and suicide or attempted suicide. Prejudice within progress Taking the long view, the 1967 legislation was progress. It repealed the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for anal sex and ended the blanket outlawing of all homosexual acts. But it was a limited reform and it still discriminated. 

Pandering to the homophobic notion that young men are seduced and corrupted by older men, the age of consent was set at 21 for sex between men, compared to 16 for heterosexual and lesbian couples. Moreover, the punishment for a man 21 or over having non-anal sex with a man aged 16-21 was increased from two to five years. ‘Laws authorising the sacking of seafarers for homosexual acts were in place until April 2017‘ Gay sex remained prosecutable unless it took place in strict privacy, which meant in a person’s own home, behind locked doors and windows, with the curtains drawn and with no other person present in any part of the house.

 We do not use the word homosexual anymore. It's a word used to arrest, abused and describe something gays are not. Instead, we use gay or the very popular LGBT and LGBTQ or LGBTI. WRITE IT DOWN πŸ“”
 This meant it continued to be a crime if more than two men had sex together, if other people were in the house at the same time or if men having sex were filmed or photographed by a third person. Seven men in Bolton were convicted of these ‘non-private’ offences in 1998 – over 30 years after 1967. Two of the seven, who had sex with a man who was six months under the then gay age of consent of 18, were given suspended jail terms and put on the Sex Offenders Register, alongside rapists and paedophiles. None of them would have been convicted if their partner had been a woman. The 1967 reform applied to only England and Wales; not being extended to Scotland until 1980 and to Northern Ireland until 1982. It did not include the armed forces or merchant navy, where sex between men remained a criminal offence. Gay military personnel and merchant seamen could still be jailed until 1994, for behavior that was no longer a crime between gay civilians. 

Legislation authorising the sacking of seafarers for homosexual acts on UK merchant ships were not repealed until April this year.  1966: 420 convictions of gross indecency 1974, seven years after the 1967 Act: 1,711 convictions of gross indecency ‘Unnatural offences’ The centuries-old anti-gay laws were not abolished in 1967. They remained on the statute book under the heading “Unnatural offences.” The two main gay crimes continued to be anal sex, known in law as buggery, and gross indecency, which was any sexual contact between men other than anal sex, including mere touching and kissing. There was also the offence of procuring; the inviting or facilitating of gay sex. Bizarrely, the 1967 reform decriminalised anal sex in certain circumstances but banned men from procuring lawful anal sex for other males, such as arranging a gay sex date for a friend. 

The law against soliciting and importuning remained in force and was interpreted to designate homosexuality as an immoral purpose. It criminalised men chatting up men or loitering in public places with homosexual intent, even if no sexual act took place. Men were convicted under this law after 1967; sometimes for merely smiling and winking at other men in the street. There were other arrests under ancient legislation against indecency, such as the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 and the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860. 

Gay and bisexual men, and some lesbians, continued to be prosecuted, right up until the early 1990s, under public order and breach of the peace laws, for public displays of affection, such as kissing and cuddling. Such prosecutions ended only when the LGBT direct action group, OutRage!, highlighted and protested against them. ‘The Law Lords ruled in 1973 that gay lonely heart adverts in IT magazine were a “conspiracy to corrupt public morals“‘ The 1967 law simply meant that the long-standing and continuing homophobic laws were not enforced in certain circumstances. But many aspects of gay male life remained criminal. In fact, the repression got much worse. There were police stake-outs in parks and toilets, sometimes using good-looking young police officers as bait to lure gay men to commit sex offences. Gay saunas were raided. ‘Disorderly house’ charges were pressed against gay clubs that allowed same-sex couples to dance cheek-to-cheek. 

In 1966, the year before partial decriminalisation, 420 men were convicted of gross indecency. To my shock, I found that in 1974 the number of convictions had soared by over 400 percent, with 1,711 men found guilty of this offence. The authorities seemed determined to ensure that the limited liberalisation of 1967 did not give a green light to what they still regarded as a vice and perversion. Indeed, the Law Lords ruled in 1973 that gay lonely heart adverts in IT magazine were a “conspiracy to corrupt public morals.” 


 Not in England, France, Australia or many other nations which no longer carry anti-gay laws for gay sex or gay men being together, still, will harras or arrest them depending on the county and cop involved.



Despite the reform of 1967, homosexuality was declared by their lordships to be only partly legal, not moral and contrary to the public good. No protections In this era, homophobic discrimination in housing, employment and the provision of goods and services remained lawful by default. There was no legal protection against it. People were denied employment or sacked from their jobs because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Others were refused rented accommodation or evicted from it. Some were turned away from pubs and restaurants. 

Lesbian mothers and gay fathers often lost custody of their children in divorce cases. There was no redress in law for LGBT people until 2003-2007, when a series of legal protections against discrimination were finally legislated. In the 1980s, the Conservative government’s “family values” and “Victorian values” campaigns whipped up hysterical levels of homophobia; aided by the moral panic over AIDS, which was dubbed the “gay plague.” At the 1987 Conservative Party conference, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used her keynote speech to attack the notion that people had a right to be gay. 

Coinciding with this intolerant anti-LGBT atmosphere was a massive rise in arrests of gay men for consenting, victimless behavior. Delving into Home Office archives, I found that there were 1,718 convictions and cautions for gross indecency in 1989. I

ndeed, the total of 2,022 recorded offences of gross indecency that year was almost as many as the 2,034 recorded in 1954, when male homosexuality was totally illegal and when Britain was gripped by a McCarthyite anti-gay witch-hunt. ‘In 2003, for the first time in 470 years England and Wales had a criminal code that did not penalise gay sexuality’ There was also a huge increase in queer-bashing violence. From 1986-91, I identified at least 50 murders of men in circumstances that pointed to a homophobic motive. Police investigations to catch the killers were often derisory. 

We were still seen by some officers as less deserving of the protection of the law. The gross indecency law of 1885 had been used to convict the computer genius Alan during in 1952 and, before him, to jail the playwright Oscar Wilde in 1895. Together with the criminalisation of anal sex, the gross indecency law was finally repealed in England and Wales by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. As a result, for the first time in 470 years these two nations had a criminal code that did not penalise gay sexuality. In Northern Ireland, the ban on anal sex was finally repealed in 2008. Scotland’s anti-gay laws were abolished in 2009 but, in the case of sodomy, did not take effect until 2013. Gay sex ceased to be a crime across the whole of the UK only four years ago – 46 years after 1967. Unbelievable, but true! 

Peter Tatchell is Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation: www.PeterTatchellFoundation.org

July 7, 2017

New Zealand Apologizes for Hundreds of Gay Convictions




In Wellington, New Zealand lawmakers unanimously apologized Thursday for the “tremendous hurt and suffering” of hundreds of men who were convicted of homosexuality during the years it was treated as a crime. 
Parliament took the rare step of issuing a formal apology to all those unfairly convicted under the antiquated laws. Lawmakers also approved the first stage of a bill that will allow the men to have their criminal records wiped clean, legislation that comes four years after the South Pacific nation legalized same-sex marriage. 
The measures were passed with unanimous approval among lawmakers from various political parties. 
Amy Adams
Justice Minister Amy Adams talks to reporters Thursday, July 6, 2017, in Wellington, New Zealand. Nick Perry / AP
“Today we are putting on the record that this House deeply regrets the hurt and stigma suffered by the many hundreds of New Zealand men who were turned into criminals by a law that was profoundly wrong, and for that we are sorry,” said Justice Minister Amy Adams. 
She said it was unimaginable today that consensual sex between adults would be considered criminal. 
“It is never too late to apologize,” Adams told lawmakers. “While we cannot ever erase the injustice, this apology is a symbolic but important act that we hope will help address the harm and right this historic wrong.” 
The government estimates about 1,000 men will be eligible to have their convictions quashed. Most were prosecuted after 1965 and before 1986, when New Zealand decriminalized homosexuality. They were convicted of crimes such as indecency, sodomy and providing a place for homosexual acts. 
Those with convictions will need to apply to have their cases assessed because the law didn’t distinguish between consensual and nonconsensual gay sex, Adams said. 
Sex between women was never explicitly illegal under New Zealand law. 
Opposition lawmaker Grant Robertson quoted from a man who was forced to resign from the Army because of his sexuality. 
“This conviction still leads, after 53 years, to self-hatred, worthlessness, unjustified guilt and shame,” the unnamed man said, according to Robertson. He said the law change would allow the man to feel some dignity in his final years.  
Robertson, who is openly gay, said he stood on the shoulders of those who had been convicted. 
“The fact that I, as a gay man, can be out and proud and a member of parliament is but a small tribute to you,” he said. 
Adams has said the convicted men will not receive any compensation, although Robertson said that should be reconsidered.
AP
NBC

June 9, 2017

Sheriff's Office Out of Control in Toilets at Volusia County, Florida




 Tittle, editorial, leading pic by adamfoxie
Can you believe that in the 21st century you would have plain clothes cops patrolling toilets in any part of this country? Florida, a state that was known as a backward state for its intolerance, some crazy laws and uneducated "crackers" would want to get that tittle again after so many communities have made strides in changing the attitudes of badly educated cops of what it takes to protect a community. There are drug pushers, theft, shootings, traffic enforcement, school safety and anti gang programs to enforce. Going into a men's bathroom and to wait to be proposed or proposing another man in an enclosed public toilet makes no sense. 

After getting some men of the community (which are usually married but closeted) to bite on the vice penis show and then proudly released their names to the media tells you is not the activity they are after but the men because of what they are. They are not liked because of sex...we have been in that toilet before and it smells. After all, the activity does not hurt anyone and we do not need cops to enforce sex laws, this is for Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan to do these things. Even then they don't use cops but religion enforcers. Is that what this ignorant sheriff is? Who cares if in a public toilet some guy makes an "eye' pass at another? Believe me if the other party is not interested the looking party is going to know in no uncertain way they screwed big time! 

I don't agree with this activity but I respect the privacy of these men and since they are not harming anyone, I stand by their civil rights. These are guys the sheriff knows are unlikely to ask for a trial with a jury of their peers. They are too shame for that. If they would ask for a jury trial very quickly the county would see how much it costs in dollars and sense but the truth is the men would probably plea down and be fined. The cops take advantage of that fact. They can make easy money, shame the sinners, make headlines they keep an eye on the toilets, etc. Meanwhile lives and families are destroyed for the married men.

To both the Sheriff and the men, grow up already!

News as reported by media:

A four-day sting operation at several parks in Florida’s Volusia County resulted in the arrest of 17 men for lewd activity and one for battery. But some, including LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal, are raising concerns over how police and local media have handled the arrests. 
In a released statement on the sting, which was dubbed “Operation Park Hopper,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said their actions came in response to complaints about lewd activity in local parks. 
The information released by police also included the first and last names of the arrested men, their ages, their home addresses, a video of one man’s arrest and an account of a 75-year-old man’s interaction with an undercover deputy. 

Image: Volusia County's Operation Park Hopper

Volusia County's Operation Park Hopper Volusia County Sheriff's Office / via Facebook

“Evidently, [the man] thought he was safe because he was on the east side of the county, in Ormond Beach,” the statement said of the 75-year-old. “He was wrong. Moments after he walked to a picnic shelter at the park with the stranger, pulled out his penis and started masturbating in plain view, [he] found himself in handcuffs and on the way to jail—charged with indecent exposure and committing an unnatural and lascivious act.” 
The statement then elaborated upon the arrests, saying the men would “approach undercover deputies, strike up a conversation, steer the talk to sex and then start doing more than just talking about it.” 
An indecent exposure conviction is considered a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida and punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of $1,000 or both. A conviction of an “unnatural and lascivious act” is considered a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. 
While discussing the circumstances surrounding the Operation Park Hopper arrests laid out in the statement, Lambda Legal Director of Constitutional Litigation Susan Sommer told NBC Out “entrapment is definitely a law enforcement tool used against gay men.” 
“You’d need more information on the setup and the circumstances in this particular instance, but it’s completely common to learn that law enforcement have entrapped men into alleged violations of sexual misconduct laws,” Sommer explained. 
She pointed to a sting operation in New York that she said had “eerie similarities” to the Volusia County arrests. 
“They round up gay men and then do this really horrendous public shaming where they print their mug shots and their names and their ages and the towns where they live,” Sommer said. “And they use the same kind of rhetoric that I saw quoted [in the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office statement].” 
Sommer also pointed out that publishing the names, mug shots and addresses of men arrested in sting operations like these can have dire consequences. 
“Men have employers who suddenly suspend or fire them, places where they live try to drum them out, news cameras and vans are staked outside their homes and they’re shunned,” Sommer said. “It causes people to be suicidal. It far exceeds any kind of police response to any other alleged nuisance activity.” 
“The government can certainly outlaw public sex, but it must take care to enforce such bans within constitutional limits,” said Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a gay journalist who has written on gay sex stings in the past. “When law enforcement officers target gay men for no apparent reason other than their sexual orientation, they run the risk of running afoul of basic equal protection principles.” 
Stern pointed to a previous case in Long Beach, Calif., where a court threw out the conviction of a gay man who had been arrested for cruising, because it was ruled that the police department had acted on unconstitutional “animus toward homosexuals.” 
“Put simply, it is not at all clear that the Volusia County Sheriff remained within constitutional boundaries in his zeal to arrest, imprison and humiliate these men,” Stern added. 
Most of the men arrested in Operation Park Hopper were middle-aged or older, which Sommer speculated could be indicative of generational differences between older and younger gay men. 
“Older men were more closeted, because they grew up and came of age in an era that was even more oppressive, when sodomy laws were still enforced,” she said. “This wasn’t a community that could be open or flourish in the light of day. There were no gathering places, so men would have to find each other in these kinds of venues. The internet and Facebook and apps have made it much easier for people who are tapped into that to meet each other.” 
After being provided with an information packet by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, several local news outlets published the names, home addresses, arrest locations and mug shots of the 18 men charged in the sting operation. One of the men can be seen crying in his photo. 
“Because of the significance of the operation and the number of arrests, the decision was made to announce the results at a news conference,” Gary Davidson, a spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, told NBC Out via email. “When we have a news conference, we always compile an information packet for the media with all of the relevant information.” 
Davidson also pointed out that the information his department provided to the media, including the defendants’ home addresses, is a matter of public record and contained in the charging affidavits. He said his office compiled and distributed the information “for the convenience of media outlets covering the news conference.” 
Sommer said media outlets ought to exercise caution before publishing personal and possibly sensitive information. 
“I think the media needs to act responsibly and not publish pictures and names and not participate in something that could fuel vigilante behavior,” Sommer said. “The harm you could do to someone’s life far outweighs any public interest or value in doing so.” 
During the Operation Park Hopper news conference, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the arrests were meant to send a message. 
“These types of activities impact the quality of life of our citizens,” he said. “It’s important that we set the tone that our parks and trails are safe for families and children.
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