Tag Archives: Gay witchunt

Gay History – 1962: The Shocking Mansfield, Ohio Gay Sex Sting. 78 Gay Men Arrested – [Rare Video]

In the summer of 1962 the Mansfield, Ohio Police Department set up a gay sex sting by filming men having sex in a public restroom under the main square of the city.  A cameraman hid in a closet and filmed the clandestine activities through a two-way mirror. The police filmed over a three-week period, and the resulting film footage was used to obtain the convictions of over 78 local men on charges of sodomy.  (Several of the accused were committed to an asylum for shock treatment. One of them later committed suicide.)

All of the 38 men were convicted of sodomy.  They were publicly humiliated and found themselves ensnared by the state’s Ascherman Act, which ordered all felons deemed a danger to society to be institutionalized for a potentially indefinite period; all were required to serve the minimum sentence, even those judged by medical professionals to be “cured” prior to that time.  The treatment involved a number of now-discredited methods, including electroshock and various other aversion therapy techniques, and drugs with known severe side effects.  After their release few recovered from the trauma and many were ostracized from families and friends.   It would not be until 1973 that the American Psychiatric Association struck homosexuality from its list of mental disorders; until that moment, the psychiatric profession had essentially lent its tacit endorsement to these laws and practices.

After the arrests, the restroom below Mansfield’s Central Park was closed to the public and in a gesture more superstitious than practical, it was filled in with dirt and covered up.

The footage itself is chilling and stark.  One must always remember that it was not only the fact that these men were having sex in a public bathroom that got them arrested.  It was the fact that they were gay.  The sex act on film was only the evidence.  

David Herkt sums:.

The video documents a straight-laced America of button-up shirts, horn-rimmed glasses and ubiquitous cigarettes where fleeting moments of sexual expression can be experienced in hidden places but within a context of fear. Even during the sex-acts, the eyes of these men are often focused on the restroom doors and the possibility of an intrusion that could mean arrest and imprisonment. There is an urgency of need for contact that overcomes the weight of law and self but cannot quite overcome the awareness of possible consequences.

There is also a poignancy as each of the men is observed – smoking, washing hands, straightening attire in a mirror, involved in brief sexual contact, wiping semen from the floor – because, for them, these moments mark their last instants of freedom from restraint by the state or confinement in a treatment facility.

Even now over 55 years later 18 out of the 50 United States still have sodomy laws on the books and use the same techniques as in Mansfield to persecute and prosecute homosexual men. In fact the Mansfield Police Department published rules and guidelines and provided technical know-how assisting every other city in America to obtain convictions in the same way.

A Mansfield-based film company put out an award-winning documentary for law enforcement agencies detailing  how the Mansfield Underground Restroom Scandal could be duplicated in every other precinct in America.

William E. Jones found a degraded version of the police tapes used in the prosecution of these of the men involved that was also sent out to other police departments in the United States.

The film has been restored and serves as a shocking reminder of our past.

WARNING: THIS LINK will take you to video. It is EXTREMELY NSWF and is used here for historical and educational reference only.


Grand Jury Indicts Rentboy CEO on Prostitution, Money Laundering Charges – #LegalizeSex

Rentboy.com Busted


Jeffrey Hurant the former CEO of Rentboy.com has been indicted by a grand jury in New York on charges of promoting prostitution and money laundering.

Hurant was arrested last year in a raid of Rentboy’s offices in New York City carried out by the Department of Homeland Security and the NYPD.

Said Hurant after being arraigned in court,

“Twenty years we’ve been doing it [running Rentboy.com]. And I don’t think we do anything to promote prostitution. I think we do good things for good people and we bring good people together. And I hope that justice will be done in the end.”

Many gay rights activists and newspaper outlets have condemned DHS and NYPD for pursuing charges against Hurant.

Dan Savage criticized the federal government’s involvement in the raid, writing on his blog, “Since when did it become the Department of Homeland Security’s job to protect gay men from buying and selling blowjobs?”

Even the New York Times has unleased its wrath upon the DHS for going after Rentboy:

“Gay men in the United States turn to sex work for a variety of reasons. In New York, where homeless shelters for gay and transgender youths have lengthy waiting lists, sex work can mean the difference between sleeping on a bed and sleeping on the street. For others, it is a way to afford a degree.

You can’t help but wonder with the thousands of such businesses in this country what the REAL the story is behind the RENTBOY raid . How many names of high profile people are on that client list? And what does the DHS and the DOJ plans to do with them.