“Lewd Conduct” Arrests On Fire Island

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Fire Island sure ain’t what it used to be! At least three men have been arrested over two consecutive weekends for “lewd conduct” while cruising through the Meat Rack, which is exactly what it sounds like.

But, not ones to take this sort of thing lying down, some industrious citizens are preparing to fight for their right to get off. Choire Sicha fills in the blanks:

This coming Saturday, June 28, one Cherry Grove resident is proposing–via posters around the towns–a day of action, what he is calling “a circle jerk for freedom” around the park service’s (abandoned) building in the Meat Rack at the edge of the Pines.

It is unclear whether the Fire Island arrests are even being performed by the National Park Service, or by another agency of the Department of the Interior. They were not performed by the Long Island police, who patrol in the towns. Arrests performed by Suffolk County Police Department are not unusual–last year, for instance, a number of drug dealers were arrested at an annual circuit party, and in the towns, “open container” citations are issued frequently.

There are no federal or state cases on record involving arrests of gay men for indecent exposure or lewdness on Fire Island.

Saturday also happens to be the 39th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. How far we’ve come…