According to an astonishing article yesterday in Slate over the past 26 years more than 15,000 people in New York City have been prosecuted or cited for “cruising” (hitting on someone in a public place). The problem? The city’s law against cruising was thrown out as unconstitutional in 1983!
Cruising laws have been used to target gay people in particular and despite there being no laws actually on the books in New York City, judges have convicted thousands of people of violating them.
In total, defendants have been forced to pay more than $330,000 in bail, fees and fines and their criminal records have not been expunged.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, known as gay rights supporter, needs to do something about this injustice immediately. In February, gay rights advocates protested at the mayor’s home after the arrest of several gay men on bogus charges of cruising but so far he hasn’t responded. He needs to know that we won't tolerate a return to the days of Stonewall and arbitrary police arrests
Send him an email today and ask him to condemn the enforcement of nonexistent laws in New York City, expunge the victims’ criminal records, and refund their ill-gotten fines and fees.
I urge you to immediately condemn the enforcement of nonexistent laws used to target gay people. I also ask that you work to expunge the criminal records of each victim of this mistaken enforcement and refund any fines or fees they have been made to pay.
As supporter of gay rights I hope you will take urgent action to not only stop this injustice, but to do right by the victims who have been arrested, cited, convicted and punished despite violating no law in the city.