Reading the comments in those entries just made me sadder. We still have a long way to go to lift the prejudices against homosexuals, both from straight community and, ironically, even from our very own pink peeps.
It is very clear that the police used the raid as a means to extort money. I guess the police feel that it’s easier to target a sector of society that they feel they have some power over; and what’s an easier target to hit than a sector that’s already “marginalized” by society?
What’s sadder is the reaction from other gay guys who frown on such practices as going to bathhouses. Such sentiments like, “yan napapala ng mga malilibog. bakit kasi hindi na lang kayo mg hotel o sige motel na lang. buti nga sa inyo, puro kasi kalaswaan nasa isip niyo. CHE” and “ayan, malalandi kasi kayo, buti nga!” point to a deep divide within the gay community regarding the existence of bathhouses, and our different attitudes and values towards sex.
The issue here is not a moral one; no matter what your stand is on sex, the bathhouses have legitimate licenses to operate, and the sex is consensual between two adults. The issue here is legal; the raid was not lawful and the charges, non-existent. The raid is a clear case of police harassment and extortion. They who swore to uphold the law are the very ones who break the law. And for what? Don’t be fooled by their “What you’re doing is immoral” crap. They are doing it for money and power.
Certain members of the police force on Pasay and Quezon City are brazen enough to continue raiding such gay establishments because they think our community, like in past cases, will just slink back into the shadows after coughing up cash for them. That we will just shut up. That we will just bend over and take it up our collective arse.
Well. It’s time for change.