Long Beach promotes itself as a city that is LGBTQ+ friendly, but City Prosecutor Doug Haubert has an anti-gay record.
Haubert supported prosecuting a controversial lewd conduct arrest of a gay men in public restroom, but a Long Beach Superior Court judge threw out the case during a preliminary hearing and had scathing remarks for the city prosecutor’s handling of the case.
In his ruling, the judge said the only way Haubert could justify the police tactics and prosecute the case was “in the rhetoric of homophobia that seeks to portray homosexual men as sexual deviants and pedophiles.”
In Long Beach v. Moroney, Haubert supported charging the defendant with indecent exposure, meaning that if he was found guilty, he would have been required to register for life on the state’s sex offender list.
Doug Haubert is on the ballot for the June 7 primary, seeking another term as city prosecutor.
In dismissing the case, the judge ruled that Long Beach police used discriminatory tactics against gay men in its lewd conduct sting operations at public bathrooms across the city, which violated the equal protection clause of both the California Constitution and U.S. Constitution.
The undercover sting operation took place in 2014, and the case was dismissed in 2016.
At the time, Haubert said it was a “garden variety lewd conduct case.”
In the ruling, the judge said “the presence and tactics of the decoy officers actually caused the crimes to occur.”
The judge said this treatment is manifest in both the intention and tactics of the lewd conduct sting operations that are deployed at public restrooms, declaring that the Long Beach police department is hostile toward and intentionally targets gay men in those operations.
After the judge threw out the case, Haubert didn’t appeal the ruling.
Also, Haubert did not apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for supporting the police tactics, prosecuting a discriminatory arrest against a gay man, and portraying gay men as sexual deviants and pedophiles.
Haubert could not be reached for comment.
George Moyer, one of Haubert’s challengers in the primary, says he would conduct a review of all lewd conduct arrests similar to the Moroney case and carefully consider which ones would be eligible for a pardon from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who announced a clemency program to correct an “egregious wrong” when he pardoned Bayard Rustin in 2020.
At the time, Newsom publicly said the LGBTQ+ community has been targeted for discrimination and prosecution by law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
“Long Beach has never apologized. This behavior erodes faith in our criminal justice system,” Moyer said in an interview.
“When I learned about this, I was shocked it happened so recently. Long Beach prides itself on being friendly to LGBTQ people.
“We need to make clear, these people were not criminals, and do everything we can to rectify it,” Moyer said. “It’s a good opportunity for the police to say this is a part of our history and improve on it.”