A resident in Wilton Manors, Florida wants to clean up the city’s parks – but preventing men cruising in its restrooms.
‘I ask that you take some action,’ Michael Rajner told a commission panel at a meeting on April 12.
Rajner has called on the city to do more about men cruising each other in Colohatchee Park, saying the problem has reached ‘boiling point’.
Commissioner Julie Carson said it is ‘a very, very tough problem, and I am again surprised that city with the resources of Wilton Manors cannot address the problem adequately. By adequately [I mean] I think it should stop.
‘I am there regularly, five or six days a week, the days that its open, and the continual illegal activity is stunning.’
Cruising for sex, known as cottaging in the UK, is illegal in Florida.
The city has taken steps to prohibit cruising in Wilton Manors, reports South Florida Gay News. A partition between urinals was erected in restrooms, but was torn out by vandals. A new, stronger one was then installed.
Carson suggests the city has to better penalize men who cruise. ‘The biggest and best way to address the problem is to arrest offenders. It’s just not cool. The answer is not to close the park. The answer is to enforce the law.’
In order to do this, the police enacted the Colohatchee Park Action Plan to patrol the park between January 2nd and February 11th.
Some of the police were in plain clothes, resembling the infamous ‘sting’ operates that caught out politicians and celebrities, like George Michael.
Public sex has been a real concern for residents. Rainer said he saw a women scream at her child to prevent him from going into a bathroom being used for sex.
While the city works on dealing with the problem, Rainer has asked dog park fees to be wavered. ‘Its really upsetting that you have to pay to walk past [men cruising for sex].’
Recently, Rainer was successful in getting advertisements from Squirt.org, a hook-up oriented gay social app, removed from the city’s ecobins. Squirt.org’s ads have caused controversy around the world.
A local columnist criticized Rainer for acting like ‘the morality police’ and ‘claiming to possess the moral high ground in American Society’.