Gay Men in Louisiana Targeted and Arrested Under Invalid, Unconstitutional Anti-Sodomy Law

batonrougeEven though anti-sodomy laws were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2003, it seems that the City of Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, has continued to attempt to enforce a statute that was deemed unconstitutional. But they aren’t going after heterosexual acts routinely performed in parking garages or a hotel after an all-nighter down in the French Quarter. They’re not posing as a cute blonde LSU co-ed hitting on straight men jogging through the park and offering a good time behind the jungle gym. No, the Sheriff’s Office is specifically targeting gay men. Not for public indecencies in a city park bathroom in exchange for money but simply for accepting the propositions from an undercover East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s deputy for consensual gay sex – within a private residence, away from the park. This isn’t an isolated case of one deputy trying to enforce a law that was overturned a decade ago, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office has applied this overturned law to justify the arrests and attempted prosecution of at least a dozen men since 2011.

According to The Advocate, Baton Rouge’s newspaper, some members of the capital city’s population aren’t too happy with this revelation:

Advocates for civil rights and the LGBT community expressed outrage last week, saying the task force unfairly targeted gay men who were humiliated by their arrests. “It is frustrating that the police are using their resources to pursue issues like this and arrest people for attempting to pick someone up and go home with them,” said Bruce Parker, of Equality Louisiana. “It’s perfectly legal, and we would have to close down every bar in Baton Rouge if that weren’t the case.”

Prostitution and the exchange of money for sexual acts of any kind is illegal in Louisiana and in almost every county or parish across the entire United States (with the exception of a few), but again, that is not the case here. There was never any money involved, there was nothing but conversation between two fully-clothed adult men in public and there was never any sexual contact of any kind involved – just talks of having condoms and promises of “some drinks and some fun.” This is a case of discrimination, entrapment and targeting of gay men and it should be the subject of a Justice Department probe, or at least a Federal lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office.

It’s really sad that in an area with the motto of “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” which means “let the good times roll!” and a rather libertarian hands-off attitude towards many other issues, that this would be the one thing that the city’s police force decided to go after. Of course, this just goes to show one thing – despite all of the progress we Southerners have made toward dragging Louisiana and other states out of Dark Ages kicking and screaming, we still have a long way to go.

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  • Karen Fortier

    This is a backwoods crooked state, known far and wide for it’s corruption in government and everything political. These cops are pukeworthy and need to be fired. Dear Lord, this is just wrong on every level. Leave people the hell alone and try doing something to help your state for a change…

    • paula cliburn

      Just goes to show they aren’t smart enough to find real crooks, they’d rather harass someone they don’t like!

      • RealityBites

        Some are obviously power hungry and will bother anyone just because they want to

      • gary

        marijuana smokers have been saying the same thing for years… but we’re a bunch of burnout do nothings.

  • Meri Justus

    If that is the case they want to arrest people for having anal sex then ANY ONE who talks about having anal sex weather they are straight, or gay needs to be arrested NOT just gay men. But that wont happen. because it has nothing to do with the laws on their books its a way for the right wing evangelical nuts to get at the LGBT community because more and more people starting to realize that LOVE IS LOVE, and those right wing evangelical nuts are grasping at straws to keep the hate going.

    • RealityBites

      Of course not. This is the South remember. They have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. They will never come into reality voluntarily.

  • Harold Ober

    The lawyers are going to have fun ripping this apart

  • Bren

    Every person they arrested has a civil rights law suit. I hope they bankrupt the city.

  • It’s just Pat

    Stop hating on gay people! I am so sick and tired of the haters who can’t stand it if someone is “different” from them. Mind your own fricking business, and work to capture the droves of criminals who are continuing to roam our streets just looking for trouble! That’s your job, so DO IT!!!!!!!

    • RealityBites

      Apparently according to them being gay is a crime, even though to the rest of creation its not.

  • RonWPB

    Who is that hillbilly cop in the above photo? He looks totally gay. Arrest him!

  • Sampooh32

    I hope they sue the sh*t out of the police department. That is disgusting.

  • rozzi8

    They don’t have real crimes they need to solve in this town? This is scary!

    • RealityBites

      Obviously not, since they want to arrest people for having a conversation.

  • Jim Tarvin

    Get your stinking laws out of peoples bedrooms ! Go do some real cop work.

  • americanwhitewoman

    what year is this again?

    • Paul Peterson

      In Louisiana, or the rest of the world?

  • Chris

    I’d arrest the guy who wanted to sleep with that ugly mug… must have been desperate for sure.

    • Tom

      That was funny.

  • Thomas61

    Next time these backwards hater states threaten to secede oh please allow them to let them border Mexico and pay for their own border patrol . That is the answer then we will not border them . They can just have their stupid Stand Your Ground Law and pick off the illegal immigrants .

  • RealityBites

    Absolutely disgusting. Is there any right to talk about anything anymore without some nosy getting their ears into anything????

  • Tom

    Louisiana is one of the 10 least educated states (from an article written by Fox News). They’re one of our red headed step-kids. (no offense against red heads, sorry)

  • Belial

    I’m irritated that this article can’t seem to tell the difference between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. New Orleans is like Austin, it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the state.

  • Vetra

    The problem is accepting random sex from a stranger you met on the streets. That person has an issue, they should seek help. That is dangerous in so many ways.

    • Nessa

      While I agree that’s not wise, it’s not illegal.

    • Ellen P Collingsworth

      Like Nessa said, few of us would disagree that a random hookup like this is safe, wise or even normal, but it’s not illegal to have a random hookup and the laws they are enforcing are not against making bad decisions they are enforcing an antisodomy law. These laws typically include most non-missionary positions. As an American who believes in FREEDOM, I think it doesn’t get much less free than being told by my government what positions I can and can’t have sex in. Blowjobs are typically covered under antisodomy laws as well. As a married woman, I’ve swayed things to my favor more than once with a well timed BJ. Now imagine if admitting that made me subject to criminal prosecution!! Not everyone appreciates/enjoys/would perform oral, anal, doggy-style or reverse cowgirl but criminalizing people for these personal, private and consensual acts is a gross overstep on the part of the government as has been agreed by the SCOTUS. The law of the land is that these laws are not legal.

  • Billy Glover

    What have the lgbt people and groups in Baton Rouge said? BUT I do not agree that New Orleans is not as bad as Baton Rouge, Shreveport, etc.

    And get real, the same thing is happening in Virginia and glbt people are being attacked in New York City. There is still much work to be done to get our civil/equal rights.

    The first step would be for us to VOTE. The Sheriff can be gotten rid of if enough citizens vote to change things.

  • rainbow22

    Sid Gautreaux III, SheriffPhone: (225)389-5055Fax: (225)389-5032

    calling works…

  • Chokehold

    It’s despicable what the sheriff’s department is doing there, but to clarify; the French Quarter has nothing to do with Baton Rouge and “Laissez les bons temp rouler” is more about New Orleans. The two cities are almost 100 miles apart and worlds away in attitude.

  • Megan

    Born and raised in North Louisiana. It’s really sad how closed-minded people are. In my experience, people are more accepting down south in areas like New Orleans and Baton Rouge, but as you see here – the entirety of the state is kind of ‘back woods’. Sad and embarrassing.

  • Justin

    Crooked pig trash.