By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com April 05 2012 5:30 PM ET
A local Los Angeles TV broadcaster published the names, birthdates, and pictures of 18 men recently arrested for public sex at a Manhattan Beach restroom, and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center is livid over that decision.
The men were caught in a sting operation targeting the beach-adjacent restroom. The men are charged with "victimless crimes ranging from loitering to engaging in lewd conduct in a public place," according to the Center. KCAL/KCBS broadcast mugshots of the men that included their names and birthdates. Local newspaper then picked up the pictures and reran them online.
The Center reached out to a news director at KCBS/KCAL and said they're still awaiting a follow-up response.
“It’s shocking that any news operation, but especially an affiliate of a major network like CBS, would choose to publish the mug shots, names and birthdates of people charged with victimless crimes, simply because the charges are salacious or related to gay sex,” L.A Gay & Lesbian Center Chief of Staff Darrel Cummings said in a statement. “Naturally we don’t condone illegal activity of any kind, but these men haven’t been proven guilty and historically, charges such as those leveled against them have involved police entrapment. Publishing their photos serves no purpose other than to humiliate and destroy their lives. We call on KCBS/KCAL to immediately remove the images and names from their website.”