Police in New York City are allegedly targeting gay men in video stores and other adult establishments for arrest under the charge of
The arrests seem to follow a similar pattern time after time: a handsome young man chats up an (often older) gay man, suggests that the two leave the business in order to engage in consensual sex, and then, as the pair leaves the establishment, offers to
pay for the encounter.
The comment about payment does not have to be acknowledged or agreed upon to in order for police waiting outside to seize the target and place him under arrest.
It seems that gay men have become pawns in what may be a legal game to target and close adult oriented businesses under the city's so-called nuisance abatement law, which provides grounds for the city to order the closure of businesses at which
criminal activity is demonstrated.
And it's certainly no coincidence that these sex stores are getting closed down after a slew of prostitution arrests.
Update: False Arrests
15th February 2009. See Gay City News
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has agreed to meet with community leaders about the false arrests of gay men for prostitution at Manhattan porn stores.
State Senator Tom Duane said, I told him why it so important to meet and why the community is up in arms about this and he agreed, though an exact date has not been set yet.
16th February See article
On hand were a number of familiar LGBT activists: Brendan Fay, Gilbert Baker, Ann Northrop, Father Tony, Eric Leven, John Weis and journalists Andy Humm and Duncan Osbourne. It was Osbourne's relentless pursuit of this story that brought the entire
illegal campaign to light.