K Street appears to be the scene of a bevy of queer-centric, top-notch entertainment. Bars and restaurants that compete for your attention and your dollar flood the Midtown neighborhood "Lavender Heights" , which is located close to Downtown.
Art Museums, shopping, and club hopping are all available on the pedestrian-only K Street, which is nice when the kind of cruisin' you like to do doesn't involve an automobile. Gay Sacramento - A Capital Idea Who knew such bacchanalian delights dwell in the governor's backyard? Badlands in Midtown. Mercantile Saloon The Merc in Midtown.
Gay Sacramento - A Capital Idea
The Depot in Midtown. The Bolt in Del Paso Heights. Sidetrax in Midtown. Vega's Underground in Old Sacramento.
Restaurants to check out. Jack's Urban Eats Midtown urban eats. Elliott said he put his hand out to shake hands with the other man, and, at that point, Detective Scott Maldonado pulled out his badge and told Elliott he was under arrest. Maldonado cited Elliott not only for lewd conduct, but also for sexual battery. The penalties for both are as high as 90 days in jail, three years of probation and hours of community service. If found guilty of battery, or of indecent exposure, a defendant is required to register as a sex offender—for life.
After Maldonado told Elliott he was under arrest, the two detectives led him to a van they had parked on a side street. They took his picture and his thumbprints and went through his backpack. Elliott said they took his notebook and found an ad he was planning to put into one of the gay papers in San Francisco. They asked if it was mine. I found it. They wrote him a ticket, told him to report later for full pictures and prints, and told him to go home and not come back.
Elliott said he started to get angry. The further I got, the madder I got. I walked back to my house, and I started to cry. I fell apart. His case finally went to trial on May 7, The trial stretched over eight days.
Sacramento News & Review - Manhunt - Feature Story - Local Stories - April 29,
Elliott was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but his lawyers argued that that would be cruel because he had AIDS. The judge suspended the jail term but sentenced him to three years of probation. He is still required to check in with his probation officer once a month.
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He did hours of community service—and was told to register as a sex offender. I cried, just jags. I tried to call some people. I finally got a friend on the phone, and I told him what happened. He loaded it. Defense attorney Bruce Nickerson has built a career out of the legal problems gays encounter because of their sexuality. The door latch clicked, and in bustled Flynn with a stack of files in her arms and some legal background. California law prohibits uneven enforcement of laws against any one group. That prohibition dates back to the late 19th century, when, in a case called Yick-Wo v.
Nearly all of the laundries run by white people were approved, but of the more than that were run by Chinese, none was approved. The case went to the California Supreme Court. Since then, discriminatory-enforcement cases have been brought mainly for racial discrimination. But in , in a case called Murgia v. Municipal Court, the California Supreme Court found that those same discriminatory-enforcement precedents could be applied to gay men in lewd-conduct cases.
One of the most important tests in these cases is evidence that the police acted on their own in choosing to enforce the law against one group in this case, homosexuals but not against another heterosexuals. In July , Flynn went to court and got a judge to require the police to produce their lewd-conduct arrest records—and copies of the complaint logs. When the data came back, she said, leaning forward in her office chair, she was slightly surprised at the overwhelming percentage of gay, male sex arrests: That meant, she said, that all the arrests for consensual sex were for men having sex with men.
But she said the figure that made her decide to pursue her motion was the number of documented complaints the police recorded during the same period. Flynn claims that the police are deliberately targeting men who have sex with men. This March, Nickerson and several other attorneys won a similar Murgia motion in Fresno. In the preliminary decision in March, a Fresno judge found that there was discrimination. Nickerson and the other lawyers go back to court this month to argue that the cases should be dismissed. But John Duran, a lawyer from Southern California and the mayor of West Hollywood, has defended more than 1, of these cases in his year practice.
All of his motions have been settled, when it looked like he might win, or have been denied. Duran, more strongly than Flynn, says that these sorts of cases are discriminatory. Police, she said, routinely follow possible suspects. Candee heard arguments in what even Flynn called a difficult decision for any judge—to dismiss every single case of lewd conduct in Sacramento for the past year and possibly open the city up to civil lawsuits. Flynn said that all of the arrests were made because the officers solicited the men, not the other way around.
The Sacramento police are targeting gay males, she said. But there is not one name. Not one date. Nickerson later called that argument a distinction without a difference. At the end of the hearing, Candee took the case under advisement. Flynn had been worried that he would rule, negatively, from the bench.
What does she think will happen? Is it discriminatory prosecution? Judge Roland L. Candee has a difficult decision. In , San Francisco had similar problems with two areas of Golden Gate Park that were well-known cruising spots for many years: She said the police started to get lots of complaints from horseback riders and soccer players at a newly renovated field.
She said that the San Francisco cops went to the areas as decoys in plainclothes. But instead of citing people, they handed out leaflets. The fliers said that public sex is illegal. San Francisco police kept it up for about two months, and it worked. Today, those areas are largely free of public-sex problems.
But San Francisco is a bit different from Sacramento. Though the Golden Gate Park cruising areas are history, there are other venues to take up the slack. But, more importantly, according to Militello, though San Francisco closed its bathhouses at about the same time as Sacramento, there are still at least four sex clubs in the city, where men go for anonymous encounters—and they are bathhouses in all but name. But those approaches are rare. Arrests for public sex are the cause of about six suicides every year across the country, claims Patrick Califia, author of the book Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex , who says he has been following such cases since the late s.
Califia is the author of 12 books and is a psychotherapist who has devoted a lot of time to understanding public sex and its aftermath. Califia cites the case of a Plainfield, Conn. Denton, who was arrested in in Johnston, R.
He was the year-old chair of the town Republican committee, an ex-Air Force captain and the divorced father of one son. The local newspaper published his name and pictures of him and the five other men arrested in a raid on an adult movie theater. Denton killed himself shortly after his arrest.