A forced outing is damn traumatizing and always causes nothing but harm.
Well, never mind all that if you’re Hollywood, Florida police, who last week raided an adult store and arrested 13 men who were having consensual sexual encounters in a private area.
Police officers went to the trouble of paying $25 to enter locked, private rooms at the back of the Pleasure Emporium in South Florida where men were masturbating and engaging in oral sex.
After the arrests, several news outlets reported on the incident, revealing the men’s names, their hometowns, ages and mugshots.
The smearing has justifiably led to bitter backlash. According to the Miami New Times, an attorney for one of the men says her client was fired from his job in the medical field as a result of the coverage.
It gets worse: the man (we’re not using his name and no outlet run by humans with a shred of decency would) had fled Cuba 20 years prior to avoid persecution.
"He was persecuted in Cuba because of his sexuality," says his attorney, Abbie Cuellar. "He was thrown out of his home and thrown out of school because he was gay. He fled as a result and thought America was going to be this beacon of 'freedom.' He now basically has lost everything he has worked for… He is horribly suicidal.”
Just to repeat, these men were arrested, humiliated and worse—their lives are probably wrecked— for having consensual sex in private.
The raid cost taxpayers $240, as the two police officers got four hours of overtime pay a piece.
Hollywood PD has made a habit of raiding the Pleasure Emporium. They arrested six men there in February. In a statement, they defended last week’s raid, calling the locked, private rooms that you have to pay to get into at Pleasure Emporium a “public space."
"Clearly, this was a private setting within a private setting — you would have to pay to get into it," Cuellar says. "It's not in a residential neighborhood. There's no danger a kid would ever walk past, even. The fact that they’ve been made out to be these sexual deviants, I feel like I’m back in the 1960s! I don't understand the point of this arrest other than smearing and humiliating these men."
For the full story: Miami New Times
h/t: Pink News