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Sex Arrests on a Gay Beach Provoke a Hamptons Debate
nytimes ^ | July 19, 2003 | By COREY KILGANNON

Posted on 07/19/2003 12:49:26 PM PDT by dennisw

July 19, 2003 Sex Arrests on a Gay Beach Provoke a Hamptons Debate By COREY KILGANNON

AST HAMPTON, N.Y., July 17 — At Two Mile Hollow Beach, the longtime center of gay life in the Hamptons, the language of the parking lot pickup scene is very specific.

On any given summer weekend evening, there may be dozens of men parked alone in the lot here. When a driver arrives wanting to participate, he typically flashes his brake lights and parks. Then he may flip on his interior light and see who pulls up next to him.

Otherwise, two cars may pass each other like jousting knights and, if they like what they see, pull into adjacent parking spots to meet. Immediate sex is usually the goal, and the men either have it in their cars or wander onto the beach or the dunes.

Participants say they see the same faces cruising the lot every week, but one Friday evening last month, four new men appeared in unmarked cars and wandered onto the beach. They were undercover police officers and they soon saw two men having oral sex.

They arrested the men for public lewdness and three others for public urination. Since then, the East Hampton Village Police Department has run additional Friday night undercover operations and increased uniformed patrols looking for sex offenders.

The crackdown has since escalated into a public controversy, with officials and some residents saying the operation is a response to clearly inappropriate and unlawful public behavior and many gays saying it has become a form of harassment.

"It's like a bomb dropped here," said Clifton Nordmeier, 48, one of the two men arrested last month on a public sex charge. "It's a real step back for us. People don't feel comfortable down there anymore."

But town officials and many residents say the actions are not anti-gay, but rather an appropriate attempt to curb illegal public sex acts.

"This is not about being gay," said the East Hampton Village administrator, Larry Cantwell. "We have always recognized the gay community as an important part of East Hampton."

The issue arose after the police received complaints from residents of Further Lane, a picturesque road lined with oceanfront mansions behind tall hedgerows and whose residents include Jerry Seinfeld, the art dealer Larry Gagosian and the Washington lobbyist Liz Robbins.

There have been no additional arrests, but the police presence alone has riled many regular users of the beach and caused an uproar in the East End's gay community. So has the action of some local residents trying to crack down on gay sexual activity here by hiring uniformed security guards to patrol the beach and parking lot and to videotape people engaged in sex acts.

Mr. Nordmeier, a postal clerk from East Hampton, said he was handcuffed on the beach that night, June 13, and marched into the parking lot in front of many onlookers. He was taken to the station house and charged with public lewdness and his name was listed in news stories.

"I literally felt crucified," he said. "It was so public. I felt like I had been strung up in the parking lot."

He was released later that night on bail and told by a judge recently that the infraction would be dismissed if he committed no other violations for six months.

Tom Kirdahy, a co-chairman of the East End Gay Organization, said that most gay beachgoers agreed with and obeyed the public sex laws, but saw the recent resident and police action as "crackdowns to stop us from meeting one another."

"We want assurances this is not about homophobia," he said.

In early June, a group called the Further Lane Association began complaining to the village police about public sex and urination by beachgoers. The residents hired a private security firm to patrol the beachfront property, videotape beachgoers having sex and urinating and give the tapes to the East Hampton Village Police Department, said the police chief, Gerard Larsen Jr.

None of the resident group's members have been identified publicly, but gay leaders and village officials say that their movement is spearheaded by the Wall Street investor Ron Baron, who last year bought a $23 million beachfront property, apparently unaware of the beach's history as a gay trysting place. Mr. Baron's gray, atrium-style house is separated from the beach by about 400 yards of vegetation. For weeks, uniformed guards have been stationed at the end of his property watching over men in skimpy bathing suits.

After the situation made newspaper headlines (an East Hampton Star editorial called the arrests "anti-gay" and a "witch hunt," and The East Hampton Independent ran the front-page headline "Home Sweet Homophobia?"), the Further Lane Association hired a publicist, who said the group would discontinue using security guards on the beach.

The publicist, Cathy Callegari, said that Mr. Baron's was one of 10 households that make up the association. She said that Mr. Baron was far from homophobic and in fact had gone to great lengths to care for an employee with AIDS who died in 1992.

"This is not a gay issue," she said. "It's a legal issue."

Mr. Baron did not respond to phone messages left at his office, but an assistant there sent an e-mail message outlining the Further Lane Association's recommendations for the beach, which include closing the parking lot at night and strictly enforcing public sex and nude sunbathing laws, "with the intent to make our neighborhood safe and enjoyable for individual homeowners, their families and guests as well as residents and visitors to East Hampton."

Chief Larsen insisted that the police enforcement was directed at illegal behavior, not at sexual preference. "It's a not a gay thing," he said. "It's enforcing the law.

"If there are no crimes, then no one's getting arrested. Nobody's pleading not guilty. They're saying, `This has been going on for 50 years; why can't it continue?' "

The chief said that after receiving complaints of public sex and urination, he began sending undercover officers to the beach on Friday nights for "surveillance, not a raid," and that his officers were given clear orders to arrest only those people having "blatantly public sex."

"I told them, `If you can actually see it happening, arrest them. If you can't see it, don't,' " he explained. "I instructed them that if people are having sex in a car and it's dark, don't get involved. If they're under a blanket 50 yards down the beach, leave them alone. But if they're 50 feet off the blacktop and engaged in a blatant oral-sex act, not hiding it, that's public lewdness."

Chief Larsen said that officials from the security firm hired to patrol the beach had told him that guards would patrol the beach, videotape public sex acts and possibly make civilian arrests.

He said he had received complaints that guards were shining lights at gay beachgoers and following them on the beach. He said he warned security officials that "it has to stop because you very well may be committing harassment."

This summer, social and sexual activity has increased at Two Mile Hollow, now that there are no gay bars left in the Hamptons. The last of them, the Swamp in Wainscott, which Andy Warhol and Truman Capote frequented in the 1970's, began getting a heterosexual crowd last summer. Gay beach users here say the beach remained the only spot for gay men to mingle without shame, embarrassment or fear of being arrested.

For some, it is a pickup spot, with a serious cruising scene on weekend evenings. For others, it is simply a vital place to congregate and converse. Many gay beachgoers go to the beach at any time of day to converse, sip coffee and walk their dogs.

Andrew Friedman, 44, a real estate agent from Brooklyn walking his German shepherd, Beethoven, on Tuesday evening, called the crackdown another example of the historic persecution of gays.

"It's an insult and it's annoying and it's been going on through the centuries," he said. "Until they put us on a train to Buchenwald, my lifestyle's not going to change."

On the other hand, a man walking the beach at sunset sipping from a glass of red wine, who said he was 45, gay and a personal trainer, agreed with the homeowners.

"This is a public beach," he said. "If I spent $18 million on a home here, I certainly wouldn't want to watch people having sex on my dune. You should see this beach on a Friday night. There's like 100, 150 cars in this parking lot. It's out of control."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: hamptons; homosexualsex; publicsex; publicurination
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This is one of the most popular, top 25, articles sent (e-mailed to friends) by NYTimes.com readers in the last 24 hours. So is a piece by Paul Krugman

http://www.nytimes.com/gst/pop_top.html

1 posted on 07/19/2003 12:49:26 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: dennisw
Call me homophobic but I think they should be locked for ten years
... in a female institution.
2 posted on 07/19/2003 12:57:06 PM PDT by The Brush
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To: dennisw
Sand fleas, anyone?
3 posted on 07/19/2003 12:58:01 PM PDT by Slyfox
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To: dennisw
From the bedroom to the beach. The Supremes will stand up for THEIR rights anywhere along with our "duty" to pay for the outcome of anonymous sex.
4 posted on 07/19/2003 12:59:50 PM PDT by freeangel (freeangel)
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To: dennisw
Why are they wasting their breath about being so homo-friendly? It matters not to the gay community who will use this as a fulcrum to lever their agenda.
5 posted on 07/19/2003 1:02:55 PM PDT by Bob J (Freerepublic.net...where it's always a happening....)
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To: freeangel
So, you're saying you believe the SC will rule that people have the right to have sex in public places and pee on sidewalks?
6 posted on 07/19/2003 1:05:11 PM PDT by Bob J (Freerepublic.net...where it's always a happening....)
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To: Bob J
Well, if gay sex on the beach is going to be legal, then they should legalize straight sex on the beach. Then we'll see how long both last.
7 posted on 07/19/2003 1:06:22 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: dennisw
"I literally felt crucified," he said. "It was so public. I felt like I had been strung up in the parking lot."

Oh....but giving hummers on the beach wasn't 'so public'?

8 posted on 07/19/2003 1:08:19 PM PDT by ErnBatavia (Bumperootus!)
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To: dennisw
This is no different than nationally accepted prostitution stings, what's the big deal?

OOPS, I forgot, homos have extra rights, specialized laws and high dollar lobbyists.

But so do owners of $16 million homes it seems. :-)
9 posted on 07/19/2003 1:09:28 PM PDT by JoeSixPack1 (POW/MIA - Bring 'em home, or send us back! Semper Fi)
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To: dennisw
"I literally felt crucified," he said. "It was so public. I felt like I had been strung up in the parking lot."

I don't get it. If being gay is so great, and getting it on al fresco is an inseparable part of the lifestyle, why is he ashamed?

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F

10 posted on 07/19/2003 1:09:49 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F
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To: dennisw
I'm sure there's a good reason why these pervs can't engage in their favored activity in private, and simply must do it out in public.
11 posted on 07/19/2003 1:12:21 PM PDT by mountaineer
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To: dennisw
So how long did it take before Rome fell?
12 posted on 07/19/2003 1:13:03 PM PDT by RWG
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To: dennisw
Sometimes I kinda get the feeling that some gays would rather be allowed to have sex in public (beaches, restrooms, etc.) than be allowed to marry. Naaaaaah, that can't be the case.
13 posted on 07/19/2003 1:15:32 PM PDT by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: mountaineer
"It's like a bomb dropped here," said Clifton Nordmeier, 48, one of the two men arrested last month on a public sex charge. "It's a real step back for us. People don't feel comfortable down there anymore."

Now he knows how this heterosexual feels about your in-your-face deviant agenda.

14 posted on 07/19/2003 1:16:55 PM PDT by rube
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To: mewzilla
eeeeewwwww, mental note: do not walk barefoot on that beach.
15 posted on 07/19/2003 1:22:02 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: longtermmemmory
If public sex acts are part of the scenery, I doubt I'll be getting close enough to that beach to worry about it :)
16 posted on 07/19/2003 1:25:04 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: longtermmemmory
No, better yet...fashion a thirty-foot inflatable penis. Blow it up and lay it on the beach. After they have all fastened themselves to it like suckerfish, make a hole in it and let them all fly out to sea, balloon-style.
17 posted on 07/19/2003 1:34:39 PM PDT by whereasandsoforth
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To: whereasandsoforth
North Carolina: Our beaches are sticky...
18 posted on 07/19/2003 1:35:38 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: dennisw
Identity of Piece vs. Religion of Peace

Who'd win in a grudge fight???

19 posted on 07/19/2003 1:38:48 PM PDT by Porterville (J Marshall asserted the Court's monopoly on the interpretation of the Constitution, may he burn)
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To: dennisw
What, you mean there is no right to privacy to have sex in public? What an outrage. The Bush Government is taking away more of our rights. We must have Supreme Court justices that will protect our rights. No more Bush court appointments until we can approve them and they pledge to respect our rights.
20 posted on 07/19/2003 1:42:18 PM PDT by BJungNan
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To: dennisw
This stuff is all right, but keeping your family home on Disney's Gay Days is immoral????
21 posted on 07/19/2003 1:43:53 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: mewzilla
Since the "If it feels good do it" Supremes have no problem then what's the beef? The next set of knuckleheads will probably allow them to engage in their perversions on YOUR property. And why? Because the straight pumpkins haven't made this or just about anything a reason to fight for. They allow this small minority & many others to run their lives. These are the same that vote in RINOs & think that they will fix the nations problms while they play golf or get ther nails done. Then when they wake up today & see this & other degredation they wonder what happened to the country.
22 posted on 07/19/2003 1:44:10 PM PDT by Digger
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To: dennisw
Log Cabin Republicans? That's an expensive area.
23 posted on 07/19/2003 1:46:34 PM PDT by illumini (AMERICA. Love her or leave her!)
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To: Digger
There's a simple solution for the public sex issue. Either everyone gets to be perverts or no one does. If they want to be treated like straight folks, they can abide by the same rules as straight folks.
24 posted on 07/19/2003 1:47:19 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: dennisw
Gy beach, is that a beach that only mixes with other beaches?
25 posted on 07/19/2003 1:47:34 PM PDT by breakem
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To: whereasandsoforth
Now THAT is a vivid image!

:o)
26 posted on 07/19/2003 1:49:59 PM PDT by Maximum Leader (run from a knife, close on a gun)
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To: dennisw
"I literally felt crucified," he said. "It was so public. I felt like I had been strung up in the parking lot." LOL.

A pervert and feebleminded?

"... so public...?"
At a public beach?

Does the pervert gene have a moron gene attached?

If he wants privacy he can stay home... or go home after the pickup.

27 posted on 07/19/2003 1:51:55 PM PDT by Publius6961 (Californians are as dumm as a sack of rocks)
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To: dennisw
Why should gays gets special rights or a pass?
28 posted on 07/19/2003 1:52:53 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: dennisw
These deviants are destroying the atmosphere of beaches, public parks and just about anywhere they can get away with it. Here in Indy, you can't go to certain parks, anymore, because you can't walk down a path without seeing two queers going at it.
29 posted on 07/19/2003 1:54:03 PM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: dennisw
Ain't that just like the Microsexual, he can't get both feet out of the closet.
30 posted on 07/19/2003 1:59:56 PM PDT by Old Professer
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To: mewzilla
......the (stop gay sex) movement is spearheaded by the Wall Street investor Ron Baron, who last year bought a $23 million beachfront property, apparently unaware of the beach's history as a gay trysting place......

He oughta sue his real estate agent for not informing him the house came with the gay scene. I hope Baron is extra careful about his other investments.

31 posted on 07/19/2003 2:01:50 PM PDT by Liz
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: SJSAMPLE
If we could just come up with an articulated spinal implant, maybe these guys could do what my dogs do and "pleasure" themselves.
33 posted on 07/19/2003 2:03:16 PM PDT by Old Professer
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: dennisw
Immediate sex is usually the goal, and the men either have it in their cars or wander onto the beach or the dunes.

Tom Kirdahy...saw the recent resident and police action as "crackdowns to stop us from meeting one another."

Gratuitous, public sex categorized as "meeting each other". And the deviants think it's their right to keep on doing it because they've been doing it for 50 years. And they equate the police enforcement of the law with the crucifixion and Buchenwald. This just makes me sick.

I truly do not care what two adults do in their own home. As a friend of mine says "It's your mouth--you can haul coal with it if you want". I just HATE the sense of entitlement these perverts have...and that mirrors what the left wants in all types of social programs.

35 posted on 07/19/2003 2:09:52 PM PDT by I Luv Bush
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To: dennisw
The locals call it "Two Miles of Horror" for good reason.
36 posted on 07/19/2003 2:28:59 PM PDT by wolficatZ
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To: dennisw
This has absolutley nothing to do with homophobia or even with enforcing the law. Both sides are lying through there teeth, and if anyone can't see that, they are either blind or naive.

This is about property values. These people didn't care about gays screwing each other like animals untill now, when a few people bought houses there and while at the same time, there are some people there who want to sell there houses.

Watching a couple of guys give each other "oral exams" doesn't do much to boose the property value of a house.

37 posted on 07/19/2003 2:32:06 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: ErnBatavia
"I literally felt crucified," he said. "It was so public. I felt like I had been strung up in the parking lot."

Completely over-the-top. Five seconds of actual crucifixion or being strung up in the parking lot would do much to correct this sort of misapprehension and hyperbolic swoon. The man is an ignoramus.

A "gay beach" huh? Do they own it? Or is the whole public sphere their private bedroom?

They already "own" the public toilets in most of the public parks in my neck of the woods.

38 posted on 07/19/2003 2:36:35 PM PDT by Kevin Curry
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To: Bob J
It wasn't me you asked, but actually, if the Supreme Court does not get some new conservative judges, it will within a generation rule in favor of legalizing sex in public, sex with children, and sex with animals. I list those three because they are what's on the agenda of the "reformers".
39 posted on 07/19/2003 2:49:08 PM PDT by TheMole
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To: dennisw
On any given summer weekend evening, there may be dozens of men parked alone in the lot here. When a driver arrives wanting to participate, he typically flashes his brake lights and parks. Then he may flip on his interior light and see who pulls up next to him.

Otherwise, two cars may pass each other like jousting knights and, if they like what they see, pull into adjacent parking spots to meet. Immediate sex is usually the goal, and the men either have it in their cars or wander onto the beach or the dunes.

This is odd to say, but it's kind of nice to see the practice of "cruising" finally detailed in a major newspaper. Usually the PC crowd likes to remain silent about the common practice of anonymous sex amongst male homosexuals. Typically they'd prefer to pretend that the majority of gay men are just like Jack on Will and Grace-- flamboyant but otherwise normal.
40 posted on 07/19/2003 3:22:00 PM PDT by bourbon
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To: Liz
In the meantime he'd better buy some blinds...
41 posted on 07/19/2003 3:31:45 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: SJSAMPLE
There's a great spot on the Charles River out in the fancy suburbs of Boston(Newton/Weston) that has had a gay meeting place for years.

These gays must like the finer things in life.
42 posted on 07/19/2003 3:39:44 PM PDT by Mears
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To: dennisw
LOLOL......the beautiful people are not amused!
43 posted on 07/19/2003 3:42:14 PM PDT by OldFriend ((Dems inhabit a parallel universe))
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To: whereasandsoforth
Nice imagery there...
44 posted on 07/19/2003 3:43:29 PM PDT by scott7278 ("If I'm not back by dawn -- call the president.")
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Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: ErnBatavia
I had the same thought.
47 posted on 07/19/2003 5:00:05 PM PDT by He Rides A White Horse (For or against us.........)
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To: Mears
The term "meeting place" is so misleading. It makes it sound like the gays get together to chat about fashion and their favorite show tunes.
48 posted on 07/19/2003 5:03:56 PM PDT by Wilhelm Tell (Lurking since 1997!)
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To: dennisw
"I literally felt crucified," he said. "It was so public. I felt like I had been strung up in the parking lot."

I think I'm going to cry.

49 posted on 07/19/2003 5:12:28 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: Old Professer
ALL DOGS DO IT IN PUBLIC PLACES.
50 posted on 07/19/2003 5:17:24 PM PDT by Hidgy (LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC)
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