Target: Sheriff Sid J. Gautreaux III
Goal: Cease sting operations targeting gay men
The Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana is currently conducting sting operations to find men who are willing to have consensual gay sex and arresting them for attempted crimes against nature. In these exchanges, there is no discussion of a money transaction. The men are simply agreeing to consensual sex and are then being targeted and discriminated against under the state’s sodomy laws. These laws were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2003 in the Lawrence vs. Texas ruling.
At least a dozen arrests of this nature have happened since 2011, and the most recent took place on July 18, 2013. According to District Attorney Hillar Moore III, none of these cases have been prosecuted because no crime actually occurred; however, the gay men are still being arrested, temporarily jailed, and fined simply for agreeing to private, consensual sex. The sheriff’s office is using these invalid laws to humiliate and attack gay men.
According to an official statement from the sheriff department’s spokesperson Casey Rayborn Hicks, the sheriff is simply doing his job of enforcing the laws passed by the Louisiana Legislature, and as long as the laws remain on the books, he will continue to enforce them. She goes on to say that the primary issue is that these men are agreeing to sexual activity while in parks; however, she fails to mention that they are agreeing to sex that will take place in private.
Louisiana’s crimes against nature laws, which make anal and oral sex crimes, are unconstitutional and stigmatize the gay community. The sheriff’s office in Baton Rouge is specifically going after gay men, justifying its actions with a law that is no longer valid and would not hold up in court. This not only unfairly attacks gay men but also wastes public resources, as these men can’t even be prosecuted because they aren’t committing crimes. Sign the petition below to tell the sheriff’s office to immediately cease these operations.
Dear Sheriff Sid J. Gautreaux III,
The recent arrest of a young man for agreeing to consensual sex in private is unacceptable. In the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas ruling, it was decided that Louisiana’s crimes against nature law that criminalizes sodomy and oral sex is unconstitutional. When Lawrence was decided, Louisiana’s Attorney General at the time, Richard Ieyoub, issued a statement saying that the state’s anti-sodomy law could not be enforced, except in cases of prostitution and bestiality. However, your department has been setting up sting operations that target gay men under the invalid crime against nature laws.
In these operations, there is no discussion of a money transaction. The targeted gay men simply agree to consensual sex in private residences. Your department has no authority to enforce the sodomy laws, even though they do remain on the books in your state. These men are not even being prosecuted because no crime has been committed. They are being discriminated against and humiliated, temporarily kept in jail for agreeing to consensual sex. This unfairly infringes upon their rights, violates the Constitution, and is a blatant waste of public resources. I urge you to stop these operations at once and no longer target innocent members of the gay community in Baton Rouge.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Youngswissman via Wikimedia Commons