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Post image for Sheriff Arrests 12 Gay Men For Sex Because Unconstitutional Anti-Sodomy Law Still ‘On The Books’

Sheriff Arrests 12 Gay Men For Sex Because Unconstitutional Anti-Sodomy Law Still ‘On The Books’

by David Badash on July 28, 2013

in News,Politics

An East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana sheriff reportedly is allowing his deputies to set up stings targeting gay men, then arresting them, essentially for dating or private, in-home hook-ups. The state of Louisiana has refused to repeal anti-sodomy laws deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court a decade ago.

Despite the fact that these men are not arrested on sex-for-money or public sex charges, East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff Sid Gautreaux has allowed members of his Special Community Anti-Crime Team reportedly to arrest at least a dozen men under Louisiana’s invalid and unenforceable crime against nature statute — R.S. 14:89.

The local district attorney has refused to prosecute any of the cases, according to a report in the Baton Rouge Advocate:

District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office refused to prosecute each one of the cases because his assistants found no crime had occurred. After inquiries from the newspaper last week, he arranged to meet with Sheriff’s Office investigators to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court ruling.

Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, denied that investigators had been misapplying the anti-sodomy law, which remains among the state’s criminal statutes.

“This is a law that is currently on the Louisiana books, and the sheriff is charged with enforcing the laws passed by our Louisiana Legislature,” Hicks said. “Whether the law is valid is something for the courts to determine, but the sheriff will enforce the laws that are enacted.”

Moore noted that public sex acts and the solicitation of “unnatural carnal copulation” for money remain illegal. But those elements were lacking from these 12 cases, and most of the men were arrested after agreeing to have sex away from the park at a private residence.

Gay rights attorneys agree the arrests are illegal, the Baton Rouge Advocate adds:

“It’s really unfortunate that police are continuing to single out, target, falsely arrest and essentially ruin the lives of gay men in Baton Rouge who are engaged in no illegal conduct,” said Andrea J. Ritchie, a civil rights attorney.

Peter Renn, an attorney with Lambda Legal, the prominent gay rights organization, said the pattern of “unlawful arrests over multiple years” suggests authorities are using the stings as a means to harass gay men.

“The fact that this has been going on for a two-year period is unbelievable,” Renn said. “This is basically like the police putting up a sign that says ‘Please sue me.’ ”

But the Sheriff’s spokeswoman revealed the real purpose of the arrests, “saying a park ‘is not the place to initiate or attempt to initiate sexual relations,’” the Advocate adds:

“The issue here is not the nature of the relationship but the location,” she said. “These are not bars. These are parks. These are family environments.”

“Some Louisiana lawmakers attempted to repeal the controversial law in 2003, but failed,” the Raw Story notes. “Louisiana remains one of 17 states that still have anti-sodomy laws on the books, despite the Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling.”

The sheriff is an elected official, who has run unopposed in the last four elections.

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{ 7 comments }

twiga_riq July 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hasn't this wannabe hero gotten the message from Jindal that they need to move beyond stupid? Perhaps he has and just didn't understand which direction was intended.

BJLincoln July 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Sue them! Take them for everything you can and make it loud for the rest of the A holes who did not drop this horrible law. It is unconstitutional to arrest these men.

StarFleetVulcan July 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I believe this is why this has happened and will continue to happen until the Justice Department or the FBI or We as citizens stop it. http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/05/louis… Louisiana is the world's prison capital Louisiana is the world's prison capital. The state imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of its U.S. counterparts. First among Americans means first in the world. Louisiana's incarceration rate is nearly five times Iran's, 13 times China's and 20 times Germany's. By Cindy Chang, The Times-Picayune
on May 13, 2012 at 5:00 AM, updated May 29, 2012 at 11:23 AM

SeanLiberty13 July 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Grotesque Nazi parasite. The LGBT people of Louisiana need to riot so hard that it will make the Stonewall riots look like a pillow fight. F@#K THEM UP!!!! This is illegal. Don't let it stand. Don't let them get away with it.

Brian Stroup July 29, 2013 at 12:04 am

I say we descend upon Baton Rouge well-armed and shoot every cop we see until they all run home to hide. Not that any of you complacent homos would dare to get your hands dirty.

James_M_Martin July 29, 2013 at 12:10 am

This man should be removed from office and flogged. At the very least it will give rise to a multi-plaintiff civil rights suit since, acting under color of law, abusing office, the cop arrested people he knew to be innocent of any crime. Texas's sodomy statute is still on the books as well, perhaps as a warning of some sort. But no one to my knowledge has been arrested under it since the Supreme Court decision favoring two Texas men whose rights to equal protection under the 14th amendment were violated when a jealous third party called police on them. Sadly, New Orleans has been so gay friendly that a halfwit megachurch pastor blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay pride events in that city. Perhaps these arrests should prompt a boycott of NOLA, costing the state many millions of dollars not just in restaurant and hotel bookings but sales taxes, a situation Louisiana can ill afford at this time.

labman57 July 29, 2013 at 12:41 am

To demonstrate their commitment to our sacred U.S. Constitution, many conservative pundits, politicians, and public officials strive to eliminate those Amendments that conflict with their ideology, simply ignore other sections that they find inconvenient to honor, and to pick and choose which federal court rulings they deem worthy to uphold.

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