Gay Pride | News | San Diego

Man Sues City of San Diego Over Gay Pride Thong Arrest

A San Diego man is suing the City of San Diego, several police officers, San Diego Pride, and head of Pride security, Shawn Chamberlain, seeking an injunction and compensatory and punitive damages for violations of the Fourteenth and Fourth Amendments, false arrest, battery, negligence and violation of his civil rights under California's Civil Code, Courthouse News Service reports:

SdprideWill X. Walters claims city police selectively enforced a municipal policy on public nudity, which allows women to wear g-strings and thongs, but not gay men.

Walters also claims that San Diego Pride "wholeheartedly endorsed" the policy, to "curry favor" with the police department, to appeal to mainstream sponsors, and to make the event palatable to straight people and families.    

"Will Walters is a Hispanic, gay man who owns the dubious distinction of being the only person in the history of the City of San Diego to be arrested and booked on a charge of public nudity," the complaint states. "Mr. Walters was arrested for public nudity at the 2011 Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual Transgender Pride ('Pride') event while wearing an opaque gladiator type kilt over black underwear. Under any definition, he was not nude, as his buttocks and genitalia were fully covered. Nonetheless, he was ushered out of the event, humiliated, arrested, and incarcerated."

Walters was reportedly told that his outfit - "leather gear consisting of boots, a black leather gladiator kilt, black underwear, and a black leather harness with chrome rings" - was "borderline" and says he was forcibly escorted out and had his phone knocked from his hand as he attempted to record the incident.

The complaint continues:

 "At the jail Mr. Walters was placed in a single cell visible to all inmates being checked in. San Diego County sheriffs deputies encouraged the incoming inmates to ridicule Mr. Walters, who was wearing only his kilt and underwear, and the deputies joined in the verbal harassment. In going from the hot environment of an overheated car to the air conditioned jail, Mr. Walters was chilled. The deputies refused Mr. Walters any additional clothing or a blanket. However, upon his release from jail, Mr. Walters was ordered to change into clothing provided by the jail. Mr. Walters was released from the jail at approximately 2:15 am, Sunday, July 17, 2011, after posting $190 bond. He had been given nothing to eat or drink since his arrest, some twelve hours prior."

Gay Man Sues for Thong Discrimination [courthouse news]

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  1. Pictures here:

    Posted by: endo | Mar 13, 2012 10:43:43 AM

  2. @ Rin

    Like a typical entitled parent, you think because you parent a child, that you can parent the entire world. Some Restaurants now have premission and are banning children in many cities across the country. Why? because not everything is correlated to children nor should they be. You want to censor society because you willingly had kids? Raise them.

    Posted by: Marel-ATL | Mar 13, 2012 10:45:46 AM

  3. Rin

    there are a bevy of things you can do that involve LGBT history inwhich you can have your child participate. Pride may not be one of them. And that's okay. There are somethings in life that are more adult like precisley because they are made by adults, for adults. Pride is a celebration of a coming of age story, and expressing that. Some express that at pride by romantic dinners with their partner, while others create gay rights petitions for attendees to sign, and yet others want to express their joy by dancing in swimsuits. Same dancing in swimsuits I've experienced when I went to a beach, or pier, or pool party, or any Spring Break event straight people attended. The options on how to teach children about gay rights is there, and Pride is not getting in your way. But we both knew that.

    Posted by: ULDA | Mar 13, 2012 10:51:20 AM

  4. Rin,
    Nice strawman argument. You've been called out on that many times before, and seem to consistently slip up. No one said children and gay events are mututally exclusive. YOU said that and then in a most calculating manner, attempted to twist the intent of those who responded to you to make their point seem as though they infered kids and gay don't go together. Not even an F for effort. It comes off rather insecure when you have to feed words in people's postings that they never stated.

    Posted by: IonMovies | Mar 13, 2012 10:57:56 AM

  5. I'm reading this exchange and can't help feel sorry for Rin. He feels as though the gay community owes him, and straight people, and all children a platform that serves them. Irregardless of the fact that Pride has always been pitched as a gathering for adult gays to be liberated and not confined, it stills comes down to the sense of entitlement folks like Rin adopt. How DARE these gays think they could stage an event that is tailor made for well adjusted, gays in adulthood. We have to find a flaw in it. Voila! " The Kids!" that never gets old to have in our back pocket as our rebuttal to them.

    Posted by: AngelsNCamp | Mar 13, 2012 11:02:00 AM

  6. I feel no more compelled to have a fabulous living room (I don't) because I'm gay , than I do to have a clean, wholesome gay pride. Good taste is a yawn and so is sucking up to the straights.

    As Susan Sontag said about the rehabilitation of Times Square and 42nd Street, "Children have the rest of the world."

    Let your freak flag fly!

    Posted by: rustytrawler | Mar 13, 2012 11:03:43 AM

  7. Pride is just as educational as it is F-U-N.

    I was so impressed by the number of fundraisers for equality movements. Dozens marching in favor of bullied gay teens. The pictorials of gay teens that committed suicide. The number of vendors promoting how to get involved in fighting for marriage equality. The tents that gave contact info to all our local representatives with tutorials on how to best reach them to speak on GLBT issues. Not to mention the many elected officials who came out to support a day you get to be gay, and have fun with it. If all you take from pride is dancing men in parade floats (and more power to them) then you have a one track mind that didn't want to give anything gay a chance to begin with. You probably also make comments like "I don't do the gay scene" and wonder why so many gays do go to these things and can have such a beneficial experience. Maybe it's not us. Maybe it's you.

    Posted by: Carl Landry | Mar 13, 2012 11:10:39 AM

  8. @ Carl Landry. I've right clicked and saved what you just wrote. Thank you for saying that and saying it so well!

    Posted by: Just A Kid | Mar 13, 2012 11:12:30 AM

  9. "Irregardless" is not a word.

    Posted by: Artie | Mar 13, 2012 11:12:51 AM

  10. Carl Landry for the win. Amen brother!

    Posted by: Michelle | Mar 13, 2012 11:13:37 AM

  11. I will keep going to Pride and will never make a single apology for it. I'm more offended at the thousands of homophobic stories that get reported here yearly in the hands of homophobic heterosexuals. THAT'S something to get upset about. That's something that relates to morality.

    The very people who bash Pride and participants of Pride are the same clowns who overlook all the ills of hetros. Trust!

    Posted by: Jake. 6 | Mar 13, 2012 11:18:38 AM

  12. I was at that parade and from the sound of things, he was overdressed compared to many in the parade and in the crowd. Standing in back of me was one memorable young man dressed only in a leather jock strap and leather dog mask who pretended to urinate "doggie style" on the religious protestors. Standing next to him were the cops ostensibly protecting the protestors. Thousands of pictures of people in various stages of undress were taken that day. The defendant needs to get his hands on some of them.

    Posted by: Howard | Mar 13, 2012 11:25:41 AM

  13. This is pretty silly. There is a guy here in San Diego who is famous for rollerblading along the boardwalk in nothing but a thong with an American flag sticking out of his ass. He's never been arrested. In fact, he's a celebrated icon. I'm guessing he's straight, since the police have never messed with him.

    Posted by: OMNOMNOM | Mar 13, 2012 11:36:12 AM

  14. Thanks Oliver for sticking to the point. Anyway, SD should be prepared to settle to lose a million or two.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Mar 13, 2012 11:39:27 AM

  15. @RIN Thank you for inserting some real-world perspective. Most of these people are so far out of the mainstream that they simply do not realize--or care--how seriously such behavior as displaying one's butt-cheeks in public does to all gay people.

    Mardi Gras is and has always been about wild and crazy behavior--and the lack of rules applies to EVERYONE. So I would not have a problem with this guy if he had worn his "costume" at Mardi Gras.

    The problem with doing so at Pride, of course, is that these events are supposed to make a statement about who gay people are to the entire world. And all the world sees is the freaks at the margins of the gay community--the cross-dressers, the leather freaks like this guy, the baton twirlers, the hard-core dykes on motorcycles. The one time I went to Pride in San Francisco, I quite literally saw a guy walking around butt-naked in the streets--not a stitch of clothing on his entire body.

    Gay people could celebrate themselves in all kinds of ways on Pride that do not involve reinforcing stereotypes about us being a bunch of effeminate, limp-wristed, baton-twirling, cross-dressing, trashy, dirty, disease-carrying, fetish-pursuing, excessively promiscuous freaks--after all, just about every other group in society manages to--the Irish on St. Patrick's Day, the Italians on Columbus Day, the Puerto Ricans on their day.......etc., etc.

    Instead, though, we get this kind of crap. And for those of you who drone on about what drag queens have done for gay rights, it is high time you shut up. So there were a few drag queens at the Stonewall Inn 43 years ago. So what? Do you honestly think there was not a gay movement before that and do you honestly think one would never have developed if they had not thrown their shoes at some cops? Give me a break. Effeminate queens not only are not responsible for advances in gay rights, but have been, overall, a huge obstacle to achieving it....and continue to be.

    Bravo to the the City of San Diego and to San Diego Pride for this action. I hope it sets a precedent. It is high time for it.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 13, 2012 11:40:08 AM

  16. I for one would like to see and judge for myself what this man was wearing it's difficult to "Visualize" exactly what he looked like in such a way as to warrant his arrest,..... if anyone has pics please post... thank you

    Posted by: aj | Mar 13, 2012 11:42:55 AM

  17. And then there's Rick.

    Posted by: Joe | Mar 13, 2012 12:06:35 PM

  18. For all our sakes, say nothing in response to the troll Rick. Nothing.

    Posted by: scotsyank | Mar 13, 2012 12:15:35 PM

  19. I march in the pride parade with my parents every year. If my sixtysomething parents don't mind occasional semi-nudity then why should anyone else?

    There sure are a lot of completely cowarly wimps logging on today. newsflash - pride parades aren't the reason you're ashamed to be gay. pride parades aren't the reason your family hates gay people. pride parades aren't the reason anti-gay bigotry still exists.

    we bring our nephew every year. kids line the streets. know what? kids don't freak out. know who freaks out? Cowardly Insecure Homosexuals who still live each day looking over their shoulder worrying about what The Straights are saying.

    another fun fact: you have to arrive EARLY to get a good view of the parade. you cant' just magically stumble onto it.

    every year the same nonsense is repeated by the same cowardly resentful homosexuals - you continue to blame "Pride" for the miserable life you're stuck in.

    grow up, grow some balls, and stop being a blame-laying child.

    it's no secret that the biggest anti-Pride complainers live near useless lives where you wander around like ninnies hoping not to be "too gay" and offend straight people. you're the real problem. you make gays look like spineless wimps.

    represent yourselves. for more than a decade i've marched in the pride parades with my family. last year i invited 6 straight friends to join us, and march with us as ALLIES. they did it. it was awesome.

    what are YOU doing? staying at home telling everyone that you're not like those stereotypical queens at pride? wow. how noble.

    I don't see why occasional (and let's be honest, NOt that common) nudity or semi-nudity is a big deal for children. we explain to my nephew that at pride "you can do whatever you want" - that's all he needed to know. he has a laugh, but usually he's too busy looking at the bright colorful floats and costumes.

    what are you afraid you? seeing naked people might make him/her want to...uh... be naked one day?

    would seeing a man in military dress inspire a young person to go on a rampage shooting innocent iranian women and children?

    here's how we win the culture war, folks: when you grow some orbs and stop living every day worrying about what The Straights are thinking. truly. it's pathetic.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 13, 2012 12:15:45 PM

  20. The effeminate queens at Pride do us all a disservice. When my father found out that I was gay when he caught me blowing the maid's son, he set me aside and let me know that if I ever behaved like those effeminate queens in pride parades that he'd beat me bloody. To prove his point he beat up my mother in front of me, and punched me a few times for good measure. Because that's how real men deal with things. And no, it didn't mess me up at all.
    Now I live like a real man and I know better than to tolerate those pathetic diva-worshipping effeminates who do nothing but prove how much they hate being men by wearing colours like pink and listening to music like Lady Caca who is only for effeminates who hate being masculine men. Like me.

    Because if there's one thing I hate more than anything else it's openly gay people doing openly gay things in public because I'm still closeted because I know that one day my father will show up with a shotgun and blast a hole in my head and it's all because of you stupid effeminate limp-wristed queens who march in parades!!!

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 13, 2012 12:23:05 PM

  21. Rick, I couldn't agree with you more.

    And PS - all this bickering aside - I really don't think any guy looks good in a thong. Ever.

    Whether it's Pride or going to the beach, just say no to thongs. Please.

    I'll take a dude in an athletic bathing suit or gym shorts any day.

    Posted by: Artie | Mar 13, 2012 12:27:43 PM

  22. Oliver,

    I'm not sure if you have been able to, but you should check out Boston pride. The only group I wish I could reject in the way of participation is the heterosexual pony play group. For the most part, 90% of the groups that march in the parade are school groups, church groups, community groups, politicians, and activist groups. The remaining 10% are sponsors, local bars/clubs, or odd-ball fetish groups that have little to do with gay pride.

    Posted by: RJ | Mar 13, 2012 12:31:14 PM

  23. And my dad beat me up all the time when he caught me blowing a guy, too. He taught me better than to go around looking like a stereotypical queen. It's much more important for us to look like real men and complain about things from inside the Closet.

    You can tell that we're the only real manly men on this site because it takes a real tough man to still be afraid of what people are thinking about them. In 2012. In America.

    Posted by: Artie | Mar 13, 2012 12:31:18 PM

  24. KIWI...

    Posted by: TJ | Mar 13, 2012 12:35:55 PM

  25. Just so newbies know, Artie is another of bipolar Ricks handles. That and Ratbastard as well as UFFDA. Just to catch everyone up on the comic relief that is Rick. He makes the rest of truly feel good about ourselves.

    Posted by: Jeuoirin | Mar 13, 2012 12:37:19 PM

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