Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Pink Paper - Public Sex

Readers of the Pink Paper will have noticed a letter from me in the recent edition. It's always a nightmare to condense the points down and it is a little over-simplified. That said, I do think it's important that academics reach out to a wider community and seek to promote and influence debate. The full edition of the Pink Paper can be viewed here and the letters page is page 28 of the PDF. I reproduce the letter here:

'There has been considerable coverage of public sex locations in the last couple of editions of Pink Paper and the wider media.

The law is relatively straight-forward. Provided people who do not wish to see the acts are not likely to see them, cruising and dogging activities are within the law. However, public sex in a lavatory continues to be a criminal offence.

It continues to come as a surprise to me that queer campaign organisations and activists do not see public sex as an issue and continue to stand by whilst police forces devote time and resources to policing areas where there have not been complaints or where the activity would fall within the law.

Similarly, media outlets that publish cruising, dogging and cottaging locations are contributing to
creating greater danger in our public spaces.
Police activity in cruising spaces should be with the support of that community and to protect it, not to undermine or stop it.

Chris Ashford, senior lecturer in law, University of Sunderland'

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