The topic of public cruising in Georgia Parks has been a topic of heated discussion since the fatal stabbing of Patrick Boland in the early hours of the morning on May 28th in Atlanta's Piedmont Park. The Atlanta Police Department believes Boland, who was gay, was in the park likely seeking sex or possibly there to meet a friend, according to the lead detective on the case.
"Anonymous sex and cruising for sex has been a part of the gay male culture for centuries and will be for more centuries to come. It may not be cute to admit, but it is what it is", notes Atlanta gay activist Jon Ortiz in a guest post featured on loldarian.com on public cruising in June.
It seems cruising is not restricted to Atlanta area parks and is occurring on the outskirts of the city in the suburb of Marietta, Georgia and has been for over twenty years. But a recent column printed in the Marietta Daily Journal by columnist Dick Yarbrough proposes an inhumane and downright homophobic solution to curbing the problem of public sex.
"Train dogs to bite gay lovers and chase them off to Atlanta where they belong". I sh** you not!
From The Marietta Daily Jornal:
Burruss Nature Park on South Cobb Drive and Wildwood Park on Barclay Circle: It seems there have been numerous incidents over the years of men having sex with other men in these parks. If any of the participants are reading this (Somehow, I don't think I am "must-read" in the gay community), you could be in serious trouble.
With a little instruction, dogs could be taught to severely dislike the gay lovers in Burruss and Wildwood and bite them in the fanny and do what City Council should have done years ago - chase them off to Atlanta where they belong.
Who in their right mind would write such garbage and actually expect people to take his proposed solution seriously? Better yet, what kind of editor would allow such garbage to make it into print? But wait...this is Georgia we're talking about.
In the age of online hookups and countless social events where gay and bisexual men have the opportunity to meet potential sex partners it baffles me that some of us continue to risk our health, freedom, and ultimately our lives by participating in risky public sex. What's the draw? Is it just the rush of having public sex with the potential of being caught, a fetish, or a much more serious problem such as sexual addiction?