Gay men ‘smeared’ and ‘outed’ as they were arrested in adult entertainment store

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The 13 men were charged with public exposure and lascivious acts for engaging in sexual activity at the back of the Pleasure Emporium store in Florida, even though the acts were consensual and private (in separated rooms, without exposing). The men complained about being smeared and outed. Police say two undercover officers entered the adult store after receiving tip offs about sex acts in the store. The officers then paid $25 to enter locked, private rooms at the back of the establishment, where they found the men. A number of local media outlets reported the arrests, publishing the men’s names along with their hometowns and their photographs, so they were outed without their permission. As a result one of them even lost his job. The man, one of those arrested, had not come out to his co-workers and was suffering mental health problems as a result of the way the arrests were covered. A police spokesperson told the publication that it was “standard operating procedure for law enforcement agencies to release basic information contained in a police report to the general public.”

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