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UK Police Instructed Not to Interfere with the “Human Right” of Anonymous Public Sex

LifeSiteNews.com

By Kathleen Gilbert

LANCASHIRE, United Kingdom, October 17, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Public homosexual activity in parks and public bathrooms must not be impeded by law enforcement officials except as a last resort, says a new set of draft guidelines for UK police.

Deputy Chief Constable Michael Cunningham of Lancashire Police, who drew up the 21-page report, titled "Guidance on Policing Public Sex Environments", wrote, "In any event it is not for the police to take the role of moral arbiter." Rather than arresting those who have sex in public, the police should instead guard the "human rights of those people who frequent open spaces" to seek anonymous copulation partners, an activity known as "cruising."

"The police role is to ensure that any complaints are dealt with fairly and professionally and that where individuals are engaged in lawful activity they may do so safely," said the report. Mr. Cunningham is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) spokesman on homosexual issues.

The constable encouraged police to study sex websites for insight into the whereabouts of homosexual sex hot spots. Such websites show, among pornographic advertisements, dozens of public haunts for homosexual men seeking anonymous sex - among the most notorious being Dartford Heath, where public sex has been said to have spiraled "out of control."

The report complained that previous activity on the part of police officers to stop public sex has alienated the gay community. The report blames law enforcement for leading to homosexual "self-harm," citing the fact that some homosexuals have attempted suicide who "may have been arrested, charged or come into contact with the police in such a situation." 

"The impact of enforcement can also be severe and rarely resolves the community problems associated with the existence of a public sex environment," wrote Cunningham.

"This impact can be extreme and can include humiliation, breakdown of relationships and the ‘outing’ of men living in an opposite sex relationship being perceived as ‘gay.’"

"The ACPO already enforces guidelines for police officers handling the public indecency claims against homosexual cruising, which emphasize "the value of building trust with local LGBT communities" to ensure that action against homosexual activity be "fair, necessary, and legitimate."  The guidelines were authored by the ACPO Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Working Group in 2000 to provide "a comprehensive LGBT policing strategy centered around anti-homophobia."

Cunningham’s report will now be submitted for approval by a committee of senior police officers before it is put in place across England and Wales.

See related LifeSiteNews.com articles:

Amsterdam Decriminalizes Public Sex in Famous Park
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/mar/08031409.html

Gay Sex in Public a Major Health Risk ~ Naugle Calls on Homosexuals to Stem the Spread of HIV
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/aug/07082305.html

ACLU Backs Gay Sex in Public Toilets under "Privacy" Provisions
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jan/08011606.html

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