James Wharton is a former soldier who served with Prince Harry in the Household Cavalry. He is also openly out, married and now an activist for LGBT causes.
He recently stirred the pot by advocating the closure of bathhouses saying they promote homophobia and will set back the fight for equality. Particularly where same-sex marriage is concerned.
Writing in the magazine Winq, Wharton has penned an OP-ED piece (only available in hard copy) where he links the baths to the high number of drug overdoses.
He writes “Sex saunas need to be history. The time has come to close them down.” For the GLBT community to be accepted into the mainstream, gay sauna must be shut down. The reason being they are “thorns in our side that mark our community as different for the wrong reasons.”
“If we don’t, we feed the haters and we hand the bigots who remain a vocal minority ammunition with which to attack us,” Wharton writes.
“For me as a gay man, the notion that there exist within our communities a series of places that actively promote the convening of gay men for participation in sex of shades various and in groups of all sizes rather revolts me – and I ‘ve been round the block a few times, believe me. I’m no prude, not even close, but the days when we gathered in clandestine fashion for the want of a network or a sexual outlet are surely long gone,” he added.
Wharton even cites a case in Manchester where a male customer was discovered lying dead in the bathroom. Adding it is time for gay men to “grow up”.
Responding to the backlash the article generated, Wharton has added “I find it unfathomable that people do not comprehend the danger associated with engaging in sexual activity with strangers, often under the influence of alcohol and drugs – saunas are major culprits for all three of these risk factors.”
To read more go to Shut down gay saunas if you want the community taken seriously
And James Wharton’s follow-up comments to the backlash his OP-ED generated at James Wharton responds to backlash over closing gay saunas
UPDATE response to James Wharton’s OP-ED. If we shut gay saunas, the crackdown on sex won’t end there