Michigan Gay Sex Sting Was ‘Bag-a-Fag’ Operation, Email Reveals

In May, community members in Lansing, Michigan alleged that a gay sex sting at the Fenner Nature Center, which resulted in two arrests and a warrant for a third, unfairly targeted gays. New evidence appears to show that was the case. The sting was prompted by an email request from Board of Police Commissioners member Jan Kolp.

Kolp The request was revealed in an email from Lieutenant Larry Kraus to his Special Ops unit.

Said Kraus:

"I’d also like to get Police Commissioner, Jan Kolp off my back and
help out Lt. Nosotti. Apparently the fella’s are out in full force at
Fenner looking for male love. I’d like to set up some surveillance and
see if we can catch a couple of them servicing one and other, so they
can be charged with Gross Indecency."

The Michigan Messenger reports: The email seems to run counter to earlier statements by Kolp
who has argued she did not call in her capacity as a police
commissioner but only 'as a person who has lived on Forest Road for 40
years and president of Forestview Neighborhood Association … I would
hope they would handle anyone’s complaint the same way.' Kolp declined to comment Tuesday when reached for comment."

The Michigan Messenger reports: "Triangle Foundation, which monitors and reports on hate crimes and
discrimination against the LGBT community, has long criticized what
they have characterized as 'Bag-a-Fag' or gay sting operations. The
term was coined by Michigan State Police troopers involved in
operations at state highways, according to a report by former judge and lawyer Rudy Sierra."

Comments

  1. jamesx says

    Um… If public sex is a crime, and they have knowledge that people are engaging in it, please explain to me how this constitutes entrapment or discrimination.

  2. Trace says

    Wait.. there are reports of public sex, a crime, and the police set about to catch them. Just because some guys cant keep it in their pants until they are some place private.. its entrapment??

  3. james says

    Look, I want to be all up in arms over this … but half of me is so angry that gay guys sometimes have no discretion in engaging in public sex. Yes, yes, straight guys would act like this, too, were straight women equally horned up and willing to have public flings … but until that happens (and the hypocrisy is plain), it’s the gay guys that continue to get busted and thereby keep the myth of homo sex fiends alive.

    Isn’t that why God invented the internet, fellas? Keep it indoors. Or at least legal. Jesus.

  4. MattP says

    Yeah, I have a hard time feeling bad for guys hooking up in public. Isn’t the risk of being caught what makes it so fun? They know what they’re doing and they should be willing to accept to consequences if/when they get caught.

  5. Bart says

    Like the other posters here, I can’t really get worked up over this. Yes, this woman is probably exactly what we all think she is but that being said, if these guys were doing it in a public place, arrest them and cart them off to jail.

    But where I differ with some of the other posters is that I will bet that the guys caught were “straight” married men. Gay men don’t have to go to the park and sneak around in the shadows (not saying some don’t but they don’t have to…) This isn’t about being gay, this is about being an idiot.

  6. Rich says

    I agree with the other commenters so far. Public sex is illegal for a good reason. People just cruising in parks is bad enough, but to screw right there is completely unacceptable.

    I am embarrassed and frustrated that anyone in our “community” defends it. How does that make gays seem like anything but a community of perverts to the casual (straight) observer reading these headlines? Ultimately, it impedes the greater cause of tolerance and equality.

    I like gay sex, and I like public parks, but the two do not make a god combination. I live in a (very) gay neighborhood. If I saw two guys just going at it in the local park, I might call the cops, and I hope they’d take action.

  7. says

    More like BAG-A-Heterosexually-Identified Man-Who-Happens-To-Like-Sucking-Weenie.

    Police use hate speech privately, and this issue needs to be addressed also. Here in Bellingham, WA, we have heard over police scanners the police dispatch refer to our local gay bar as “THE FAGGOT BAR”.

    ’nuff said.

  8. Joe Blow says

    Yeah I’m with everyone else here in not having a lot of sympathy for those busted. I personally love the thrill of the outdoors but totally aware of the repercussions. As an indulger in outdoor activities, I don’t see why anyone should be making a big deal out of this. Know the laws, know what not to do and how not to be entrapped and you won’t get caught. But to make this into some “woe is us” thing is really silly. If you don’t know the risk of public sex…you do NOW.

  9. Joe says

    Well, I agree with the prior comments. Why on earth should we feel bad that idiots are having sex in public and getting caught? I don’t care if it’s gay or straight sex, or even spakin it by themselves. Public sex is illegal. Why does anyone consider this “unfair” targeting?

  10. Derrick from Philly says

    So, if you arrest the 30 or 40 homos/closet cases/down low/ hustlers out there having sex in public…then what are you going to do with the 100 to 200 heteros/married men with postitutes/underage straights who can’t afford a hotel–what are you going to do about them?

    You can arrest the all those straight folks too ’cause I’m to old to run around Fairmount Park practicing voyeurism now. Seeing straight guys booties going up and down in a car window doesn’t do it for me like it used to.

  11. Pender says

    Yep, just wanted to add my voice to the choir and say that advocating for people who have sex in public places has no place in a campaign for equality.

  12. says

    Just wanted to add my voice to the anti-sex choir. NOT.

    Jesus, even when you know it’s a sting operation targeted at “the fella’s looking for male love” you STILL buy the line that it’s public sex and it’s illegal therefore it’s fine to arrest people???

    Have you ever seen one of these so-called “public places” where men hook up? They are usually “public” only in the sense that the public can get there — if they hike a few miles through the brush and know where they are going.

    Brainwashed sheep.

  13. paul c says

    “More like BAG-A-Heterosexually-Identified Man-Who-Happens-To-Like-Sucking-Weenie.” – John Bisceglia

    Ain’t that the truth?!

    @Derrick from Philly – You do realize that most places aren’t nasty and lawless like Philthy and can’t be judged by Philthy standards, don’t you? I’ve never seen straight people hooking up in public parks, but I have seen gay guys doing it…or at least waiting by the bushes for someone to do it with them.

  14. patrick nyc says

    Paul C

    Many of these guys having gay sex are closeted men who are married. Otherwise they would have no problem going to gay bars or surfing on the net to bring guys home.

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    “ou do realize that most places aren’t nasty and lawless like Philthy and can’t be judged by Philthy standards”

    OK, you’re right PAUL C. I admit the cities of the uppper Mid-West are probably much cleaner than those in the East (like Filthidelphia). I’m sure that wonderful Upper-Mid-Westener, Jeffrey Dahmer, would agree with us.

    …I left my heart…in Lansing Michigan

  16. Andy says

    I’m positive I’ve seen Ms. Kolp performing at one or the other of my local gay bars, but I think she was going by another name, now what was it??? Anita Mann? Hedda Lettuce?

  17. Ed says

    @ Paul C — Maybe you aren’t cruising the right parks then.

    Straight people have probably just as much public sex as gay people. With people living at home until later, there are plenty of straight 20 and 30 somethings that don’t always have a place to go to get it on. Most of the straight guys I know will give you the run down on plenty of public places you can go.

    The difference is that cops usually just interrupt the straight couples and send them on their way (Watch a few episodes of cops — especially in NOLA — if you want to see how it is handled.) Gay guys get busted.

  18. patrick nyc says

    ANDY I know both Anita and Hedda, and Kolp is neither. Kolp is just an angry dried up twat who wants no one to have sex of any kind, since she never has.

  19. Derrick from Philly says

    “public sex is so old fashioned. get a computer!”

    I’ve seen ’em with lap tops out there in the woods too.

    “add my voice to the choir and say that advocating for people who have sex in public places has no place in a campaign for equality.”

    …bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves

    We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves….

  20. crispy says

    Kevinvt said: “if they hike a few miles through the brush and know where they are going.”

    Sorry, big fat lie there, fella. My mountain biking group (all straight guys) frequently ride trails at Dreamy Draw state park… known to local cruisers as Creamy Drawers. We ride through a section of trail where public sex goes on frequently; it’s not but a hundred feet from the parking lot.

    Incidentally, my mountain bike buddies find it amusing. They usually just whistle.

  21. SammySeattle says

    Point missed by most above posters: Let’s go see if we can round up some boys engaged in queer lovin.

    The men are being targeted not because of being in a public place, but because they’re not engaged in heterosexual activities.

  22. Big D says

    Jeez, land of the free anyone?

    These are victimless crimes. You guys haven’t got enough crime going on in the rest of your community that your police forces have time to waste going after gay men because of some frumpy old prude in a position of power.

    A lot of you seem to think that it’s not ok for the right wing nazis in the US to stop you from getting married but it is ok for you to get on your moral high horse and distance yourself from your brothers who just wanted to do what comes naturally to them?

    And didn’t it occur to you that the only reason sex in this location is a crime, wherever the hell it is, and I presume there was some discretion involved, like woodland cover, is because that’s what someone decided a long time ago it would be?

    Are you gonna tell me you’re all 100% law abiding citizens and you don’t make some decisions for yourselves about which laws you’re going to abide by and which ones are stupid and don’t need your respect?

    No wonder there’s so much discrimination in the US towards gays. Homosexuals heal thyselves.

  23. anon says

    The legal standard in most places is whether or not there is a general expectation of privacy and if “discovery” is likely. There are also community values standards. Sex in the woods is okay, legally, if you can meet the proper standards.

  24. Luke says

    Big D – Well said..

    The idiots on this website who support the police make me so fucking angry.

    As a Londoner, I now understand why gay people are in the dark ages in America. You should be up in arms that the cops aren’t catching murderers and rapists, but instead trying to set up survelliance looking for man-love (their words).

    I’ve lost all sympathy for gay Americans fighting for their rights now, and am glad to be in Britain we’re we don’t deal or tolerate the same shit you guys do.

  25. Derrick from Philly says

    “Sex in the woods is okay, legally, if you can meet the proper standards.”

    Yes. Atleast five/eight, 7 inches or more, cute firm butt, having had a shower atleast 5 hours before entering the park, preferably Latino or Arab(I want something new).

    Oh, my God! And bring your own condoms! Forgive me.

  26. Bill says

    DUMB! DUMB! DUMB! Why are gay people so damn dumb? Can’t you think on your own, do you need a bigoted heterosexual to think for you?

    Heterosexuals have sex in public ALL-THE-TIME and are not arrested. The only times I’ve seen sex in public have been heterosexual ones, once I saw a heterosexual couple f*cking near the entrance of a mall. JohnTV catches heterosexuals having sex on the streets of Oklahoma. The camera man has been doing it for 13 years now and has contacted the police often yet nothing is done. Take a look at some heterosexuals f*cking on the streets in daylight with kids in the background.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/videovigilanteokc

    NO, the law is not administered fairly. These men are being arrested because they are gay not because they supposedly solicited sex.

  27. says

    I am glad Luke has no respect for American Gays. Maybe that way he will kep his twat out of out country.

    Look, everyone knows you can get busted for having sex in public. You do iy, you get busted.

    If I was taking a walk with my kid and came upon two guys having sex (or a straight couple) i would be pretty pissed. The parks are for the public. That means any member of the PUBLIC can go for a lovely stroll or picnic, etc.. No one pays taxes for guys to go fuck int he park. Get a room.

    There is no defending this. Just beacuse they targeted Gays (and end up bagging mostly straights, I bet) doesn’t make the perp suddenly within his rights to fuck in a PUBLIC park.

    grow up Gays (and closet cases), get a computer and fuck in private. Stop imposing your tired 70’s sexual ideas on the rest of the civilized world.

  28. Ed says

    @Derek – Yours is the same logic that allows “Driving While Black” to continue to exist as well. The same principle is at work there.

    In most DWB cases, the police make legitimate traffic stops for motor vehicle violations. However, the police conducted the stops based not only on whether the law was being violated but also the race of the driver. Equally, “just because the police targeted blacks doesn’t make the perp within their rights to speed and endanger the motoring public.”

    Except, the justice is supposed to be blind. The cops shouldn’t look at race when conducting traffic stops. They shouldn’t target gay areas for public sex and leave the straight areas alone. Are the cops going to “lover’s lane” or “inspiration point” or wherever the straights go to mess around and lock-up some straight couples for public sex? Or is public sex between men a worse offense than straight sex?

  29. Derrick from Philly says

    That’s not fair, DEREK WASHINGTON!

    Fine for you guys out in Nevada to judge. Y’all don’t have to use public parks–y’all got all that damn desert to go to.

    “…get a computer…”
    No. That would mean he can probably read. I don’t want some fool coming to my place pontificating about some damn marriage equality.

    The “gay parks” were as much social as they were sexual, but sometimes the cops didn’t make a distinction. They rounded up everybody. And often they were violently anti-gay, and sometimes anti-black, and sometimes black cops who were anti-black gay (hated us more than they did the white boys).

    And also, let me make a preemptive strike here: in the park there were just as many good-lookin’ guys as there were bad-lookin’ ones. And the AIDS epidemic had just as devastating an effect on those who never set foot in a park to cruise as it did for us “nature lovers”.

    Without the “Gay Acres” area of Fairmount Park here in Philly, I would have had no contact with gay folks during the 1980s. I destested the clubs and what was in them.

    No, you shouldn’t have sex in front of other people…unless they wanna’ watch.

  30. Steven says

    However, straight couples that are caught having sex in public in Michigan are usually let off with a warning. I am sorry, there is a double standard. Women who frequent truck stops and rest areas in Michigan often service the truck drivers in public, and law enforcement (and the media) look the other way.

    This is hypocrisy.

  31. JT says

    Hey! I live in Lansing, not too far from Fenner. Last summer, I went to the nature center to lie out in the sun. Now I read a few years ago that it used to be a pick up place where you could sometimes find guys willing to “do it” in the woods. The articles from then said that the Lansing PD was cracking down a bit. Our current mayor, though, has seen fit to allocate police department resources on things other than more officers. A number of illegal activities have increased as a result. Sure enough, as I was pulling into the parking lot (I hadn’t even found a spot!), a guy sitting in his car beckoned me over to his vehicle. He was clearly beating off. I left before finding a space.

    I don’t think Lansing’s police are homophobic or are targeting gay men. I’m friends with the local precinct sergeant. He and his wife, who’s also on the force, are very positive toward gays and lesbians. Apparently the whole sex-in-the-park thing was really taking off again. Posters contend this is a “victimless crime.” I have to disagree based on the fact that the woods aren’t that dense and there are miles of trails at Fenner. There were several instances of kids playing in the park and seeing the guys doing what comes naturally.

    I also live a block off a street notorious for straight prostitution (makes my part of Lansing sound really nice, huh?). The police regularly conduct sting operations along the street, so they’re equal opportunity prudes. Unfortunately such actions just cause the behaviors to move elsewhere and the same thing is probably going to happen with the guys who went to Fenner. We just don’t have the personnel to patrol the whole city.

    I’m not opposed to sex outdoors. I actually love it! I don’t like the idea of anyone walking through one of the most lovely nature centers in the area and finding guys getting blowjobs. I’m not opposed to anyone having sex for money but I am opposed to the few pimps who take advantage of drug-addicted women and force them to work the streets.

    A couple nice adults-only nude beaches and legalized prostitution coupled with relaxed drug laws might help spending money on stings designed to catch adults engaging in sex-related behaviors. I know I would be at the beach in a second! I just wish Lansing had a decent lake…and more sun.

  32. says

    “Sorry, big fat lie there, fella. My mountain biking group (all straight guys) . . . ”

    You’re in a straight mountain biking group, Crispy? Say it isn’t so! My whole conception of you is now irrevocably altered. Typically, however, the gay cruising areas do require an exhausting slog thru the underbrush. I know because the big fat liar (he’s not THAT fat, really) has dragged me places that have resulted in ruined sneakers and myriad mosquito bites. The things we do for love . . .

  33. jmg says

    KevininVT and Derrick from Philly have consistently been the most sane voices on here on the subject of “public” sex. Is policing the woods at night REALLY the best way to spend city money? Come on, now.

  34. crispy says

    “You’re in a straight mountain biking group, Crispy? Say it isn’t so!”

    ‘Tis true. I would love to ride with other gay mountain bikers, but I don’t know any. There’s a sporty lesbian I ride with on occasion but staring at her ass just doesn’t have the same impact.

  35. says

    Well, the liar and I love you anyway, Crispy, and I salute your bravery, since sporty lesbians frighten me. Just don’t tell us you spend 3 hours daily working out at the gym and never met an eyebrow hair you didn’t long to pluck, or our disillusionment might prove unbearable.

  36. Matt says

    My gut reaction is to say that if people are engaging in public sex acts it’s a crime straight or gay, so where’s the discrimination, but then

    -if homosexuality were as accepted as heterosexuality not nearly as many people would be cruising
    -I don’t really find public sex that offensive, honestly I’m more offended by self-righteous christians praying in public but that’s not illegal…
    -[most important] this is not rape or sexual assault, this is a VICTIMLESS CRIME and all we are protecting are some uptight assholes from getting their panties in a twist. I sure hope Lansing’s assault, rape, homicide, drunk driving, identity theft, elder abuse, domestic violence (etc etc etc etc) rates are ZERO if they have the time/resources to waste on this bullshit

    Show me a police department that is pulling these kind of sting operations, and I will show you a municipality that could be shifting some of it’s funds to Child Protective Services or something more worthwhile

  37. RobS says

    Here we are 40 years after Stonewall and the same rubbish that went on then is still going now. If you’re going to do it in a park, at the beach or any place outside of the sanctity of your own home, be aware of the laws and realise that the chances of getting arrested and prosecuted are huge. It’s obvious the police were playing to the crowd in this instance; but one has to ask: Why were they contacted in the first place? Could it be that the men in question were behaving in a manner that lacked a bit of discretion? Could it be that they were doing private acts in a very public manner? Something caused the situation to become an issue in the first place, as I seriously doubt if the cops were unaware of what went on in that location and that sexual activity had been part of the mix for years. And, if the people in question had been straight, they, too, should have been arrested and charged, if their behaviour was causing that much public offence and outrage.

  38. nic says

    you know, i am underwhelmed by the homosexual prudes. what makes this sting unfair is that the objective was essentially to bag-a-fag, not to get-a-het or bust-a-breeder. if the police would go about their business of arresting actual criminals instead of being forced to persecute sex “crimes”, we would all be better off. i am not sanctioning sex in parks by any stretch, but i don’t think it was the queers that made famous the phrase “the mile high club” or the snigerring, smarmy question on “the newly wed game”, “what was the weirdest place you and your wife made whoopee?”

    apparently straight public sex is something that middle-americans giggle with glee over, and aspire to. but gay sex in the woods is verboten. i must say that i am disappointed with DEREK WASHINGTON. i am among the few(?) who straddled the mexican-american border, one foot on the american side and the other on the mexican side, while being sucked off. i had sex on the beach at south padre island. so-fucking-what? the straights are proud of having sex in forbidden places. was that not a hetero couple that was arrested at st. patrick’s cathedral for having sex at the encouragement of straight radio personalities?

    it is beyond ridiculous that straights get a bye in the sexual tournament of life. but many faggots– and i use the term advisedly– on this site think that it is ok to target one segment of society -the gays- for having sex in public places. you guys who think this police action is right disgust me.

  39. GMT says

    I’m blown away by most of the comments posted. Please think beyond “it’s a crime” What is and isn’t a crime and how a crime is enforced is socially and politically structured. Anyone who went to HS or college knows there is plenty of public sex going on between men and women – in cars, under bleachers, behind buildings, etc. (Dang,in HS I had sex with a girl in a cemetery . . . whoooa, against the law and morally amiss). When was the last time you heard about heteros being arrested for it? (I might have been worried about being caught and my parents finding out but I certainly wasn’t concerned about being arrested – it was extremely unlikely to happen) I’m sure it happens but I bet the rate is much lower than rates of arrest for gay men. When it is straight sex in “public” it is often seen as natural or normal, even funny or cute. Not so for gay men.

  40. S Keyes says

    Many of us in neighborhood groups in the Lansing area have long talked about the problems at Fenner and Mount Hope Cemetary. Park buildings are being urinated and defecated on. This is what greets our park workers every morning. Both Fenner and MH Cemetary have become places of prostitution. I am glad the LPD moved to put a stop to such behavior. People who chose to expose themselves in public should pay a price. I don’t care if they are gay, straight, purple or plaid. Get a room. In our current Michigan economy, I have a funny feeling area hotels have plenty of rooms available.

  41. g_whiz says

    On the whole I’m almost positive that when it comes down to prosecution and incarceration rates, gay people are arrested for public sex more. Do gay people have more sex in public than, say, straight teens fogging up the windows at Make Out Point? Probably not. I’m not arguing the merits of skulking about in the shadow of night to suck people off in the woods, because frankly, not my scene, but I do think the enforcement of such laws is unevenly applied and that, ladies and gents is the issue here.

    Beyond that, I’m of the mind that if homosexuality were less of a taboo in so many places, the need to skulk around in the shadows with-as earlier commenters have suggested, men who are less likely to identify as gay-would be reduced. There’s a cause for this sort of behavior, and it has nothing to do with depravity. The more open we are as a group the more this sort of behavior becomes obselete.

  42. me says

    Ed, Phillyguy, and Andy:
    You are all not answering the most important question: where are the best places in the US for cruising? I’m due for a road trip. :-).

  43. ChrisM says

    It’s the same people at the same places year after year. Here all you need to do is watch the local news and, unless you’re brain dead, you have enough sense to stay away. I’m a gay man who is sick of taking my son to a park and having to worry about what’s going on in the bushes, or worse, in the public bathroom. Most of the time at least one, if not both, of the guys are self identified as straight so they screem entrapment because, since they don’t have the balls to admit they are gay, they sure as hell aren’t going to admit that they freely solicite sex in the bushes of a public park. There is no excuse for this type of bahavior (gay or straight) – get a freakin’ room!

  44. kelehe says

    I suppose the point of this would be much clearer if the situation were a different offense, Let’s say that police decided to specifically formulate a sting target only gay men who changed lanes without signalling. Would this help?

  45. Dan says

    I agree with a couple of posters here. This is not about the sex in public but that this is gay men. Police have targeted gay men in this situation for years. This has never been my thing but I have know alot of men that do. The parks that I have been in there was just as much hetro sex going on as gay sex going on. In the Chicago area I know of 3 different places. These places have a section that has gay men and a section that has straight men and women. The situation when it comes to the straight section. They go by and tell them to go to a hotel. When it comes to the gay section they bring the “paddy wagaon”. Thats the difference. In this day and age there is to many other avenues to go to. We dont need to get picked up in those places. We have a hard enough time wothout adding that.

  46. Slick Willy says

    I really hate to break it to you folks, but by incessantly shoving your sexualities in peoples’ faces constantly, and then subsequently making a public spectactle of yourselves with the gay marriage issue, you have created yourselves a public relations disaster. Yeah, I’m straight, but I’ve actually had this same viewpoint voiced to me by a gay family member, a couple of gay friends, and several of their acquaintances, even. I, personally, actually had a whole lot more respect for the LGBT community when they weren’t constantly whining about their “rights” being infringed upon all the time, and attempting to force their views on everyone else. Sound familiar? Yeah – now you’ve become JUST LIKE those you berate. Your problem is you want tolerance of your viewpoint, but you refuse to be tolerant of anyone else’s viewpoints that differ from yours. Pot, kettle – black… If you insist on stoking the fire excessively, you better expect that the pot you’re stirring will eventually boil over. The same problem exists with respect to racial issues. The only reason we HAVE racial issues any more is because the gov’t and certain races insist on continuing to force the issue on everyone.

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