Last edited: December 06, 2004


Warren May Study Park Sex Ban

DETROIT NEWS, February 9, 1998
615 W. Lafayette,Detroit,MI,48226
(Fax 313-222-6417)(E-MAIL:

By Hawke Fracassa / The Detroit News

WARREN--If banning sex in public places is good enough for Sterling
Heights, than it's good enough for Warren, says a councilwoman.
Councilwoman Gloria Sankuer says the city also should adopt an ordinance
similar to one being proposed in Sterling Heights. It allows police to seize
and sell the cars of people having sex in them, as well as arrest anyone who
asks another person for a date in a city park that would lead to "any sexual

Sankuer on Tuesday will ask her council colleagues to OK the drafting of a
similar ordinance.

"This is good farsightedness," Sankuer said. "It's commendable to try and
prohibit public sexual activity since it's not at all appropriate."

The proposed Sterling Heights ordinance is meant to target gay activity
and prostitution in city parks, city officials said.

Sankuer acknowledged that sexual activity in city parks hasn't been a big
problem in Warren. "But I believe an ordinance like this sends the right
message," she said.

Her proposal allows police to seize and sell the cars of people caught
having sex--heterosexual or homosexual--and to levy a 90-day jail sentence for
the offenders.

Timothy Dail, a truck driver from Warren, thinks the proposal is a good

"I see hookers all the time on Eight Mile getting into guys' cars to have
sex," Dail said. "To say we don't have prostitution in Warren is dumb. That's
the real problem here. But I don't like the idea of teen-agers losing mom and
dad's car. If they can't drink and can't vote, how can we be bold enough to
think they're old enough to be able to forfeit somebody else's car?"
Jeffrey Montgomery, interim executive director of the Triangle Foundation,
a Detroit gay-rights group, says the proposals in the two cities are
"motivated by anti-gay attitudes and anti-gay prejudice."

"The police's selective enforcement will be a way to harass, intimidate
and pick on gay people, specifically," he said.

Sterling Heights Police Chief Thomas Derocha said he developed the
ordinance because police need a "tool" to arrest "individuals who are engaging
in sexual activity within a public place that may fall short of prostitution,
but which should be prohibited."

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