Lawsuit challenges Louisiana’s ‘crimes against nature’ law punishing oral, anal sex

MARY FOSTER | Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana’s 200-year-old law against solicitation of oral and anal sex is archaic, discriminatory, and unconstitutional.

So says a coalition of lawyers and social activists who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday challenging the state’s “crimes against nature” law, which makes solicitation of such acts illegal.

In Louisiana, prostitutes do not have to register as sex offenders unless they are charged more than once with having oral or anal sex. Those who are paid for only those types of sex do have to register if arrested a second time.

Attorney Alexis Agathocleous of the nonprofit Center for Constitutional Rights said Wednesday that distinction targets homosexuals, transsexuals and poor and minority women who work as prostitutes.

“Four in 10 of the people in Orleans Parish Prison are there because of a ‘crime against nature,”’ Agathocleous said.

And 97 percent of the women registered as sex offenders in the state are charged with “crime against nature,” said co-council Andrea Ritchie.

Not only is the law unconstitutional, it is enforced completely at the discretion of the arresting officer, Ritchie said.

“This leaves the door wide open to discriminatory enforcement targeting black women, transgender women and gay men for a charge that carries much harsher penalties,” Ritchie said. “That decision can change the entire course of a person’s life.”

People who are registered as a sex offender must notify their neighbors, have their name and offense published in the newspaper, appear on the sex offender website, and have the words “Sex Offender” stamped in bright orange on their driver’s license or state ID.

The registration is for at least 15 years and can be for life.

Ritchie said one woman convicted of the crime cannot take her daughter to day care now because of the sex offender designation which restricts the amount of contact she can have with minors.

“It can hurt people for years and keep them from getting their lives together,” said Deon Haywood, executive director of Women With a Vision, which works with women at risk.

Lawmakers modified the law last summer, rescinding the need for those charged with crimes against nature to register as sex offenders, but only after the first arrest. If arrested a second time they must register. They did nothing to modify the requirement for those previously arrested on the charge to remain registered, Agathocleous said.

“All other sex offender crimes involve children, violence, coercion,” he said. “None of those things are involved in the crimes against nature.”

The state attorney general’s office said it had not yet been served with the lawsuit and declined to comment.

—  John Wright

Pope: Condoms OK For Male Prostitutes

POPE BENEDICT 201004 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMIn a striking exception to Catholic Church teaching, Pope Benedict XVI said that he could understand the justification for condoms in some instances, such as for male prostitutes to prevent HIV infections, where contraception is not a concern.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Pope: Condoms OK To Use ‘In Certain Cases’ – For Male Prostitutes

This unexpected news comes today via excerpts form a new book to be published by Pope Benedict.

The BBC reports:

6a00d8341c730253ef011168fdaff7970c-800wiHe said condoms could reduce the risk of infection with HIV, such as for a prostitute, in a series of interviews he gave to a German journalist.

The Vatican newspaper ran excerpts on Saturday.

The comments appear to soften the Roman Catholic Church's hardline stance, which until now had banned the use of any form of contraception.

When asked whether the Catholic Church is "fundamentally against the use of condoms", the Pope is said to have replied, in the book entitled Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times:

"It of course does not see it as a real and moral solution.

"In certain cases, where the intention is to reduce the risk of infection, it can nevertheless be a first step on the way to another, more humane sexuality," he said.

In which "certain cases" does he refer to? The Pope uses male protitution as an example of when people should use condoms.

This new belief goes very much against what the Pope said just last year about condoms being used to in the battle against AIDS. At the time he said, "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem."


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Mayfield, who likened gays to prostitutes and drug users, attacks Fitzsimmons for being short

Ken Mayfield

Earlier we quoted openly gay Dallas County District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons as saying that County Commissioner Ken Mayfield is “the most homophobic elected official in Dallas County.”

Now Mayfield, a Republican, has responded by attacking Fitzsimmons, a Democrat, for being short.

The Dallas Morning News picked up our report and sought a comment from Mayfield. According to the DMN, Mayfield responded by calling Fitzsimmons “a little man with a little mind.”

Mayfield also insisted he’s not anti-gay and challenged Fitzsimmons to give examples of his allleged homophobia. Well, allow us to share just one:

In 1995, Mayfield and two other commissioners wrote a letter to 43 local doctors urging them to support the county’s ban on distribution of condoms by the Health Department to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Here’s what Mayfield and the two other commissioners wrote, according to an article that appeared in The DMN on Friday, June 16, 1995.

“We don’t want anyone, especially anyone in authority, telling our children or future grandchildren that it’s an approved or acceptable lifestyle to be a homosexual, a prostitute or a drug user,” the three commissioners wrote. “And, we don’t intend to be the vehicle through which others are given this message.”

Mayfield continued to support the condom ban until last year, when he opposed a measure that successfully lifted it.

Mayfield’s Democratic opponent this year, Dr. Elba Garcia, helped push through two major pro-equality measures during her time on the Dallas City Council. The first was a citywide ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The second was benefits for the domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees.

—  John Wright

Broden makes his position on LGBT issues clear

Stephen Broden is running for Congress against Eddie Bernice Johnson. He is the Republican even though his web site and campaign literature mention “Tea Party” but do not say “Republican Party.”

After we mentioned in a previous post that Broden’s literature uses anti-gay buzz words, John Charles McKee pointed us to the above clip of Broden on Glenn Beck’s show, where he was quite specific about what he thinks about equality for gays and lesbians. The 30th district includes a large LGBT population.

Broden states his opposition to hate crime legislation that includes the LGBT community and to employment non-discrimination. Here’s what he says toward the end of the above clip:

BRODEN: I just want to beg to differ with my colleagues there. I think the failure of pastors to take the lead in this issue — on these issues is the reason why we are seeing the kind of problems or melees that we’re seeing in our culture today.

In addition to that, I want to introduce my friend to the idea of hate crime legislation, introduce them to the idea of a 501(C)(3) that is used to knock Christians around and keep them silent, from speaking out in America today.

I want to introduce them to the idea of ENDA, which is Employment Non-Discrimination, which is bullying people and pushing Christians into hiring people that they should not hire.

McKee wrote to us, “It’s vital for both our community and decent people everywhere that Stephen Broden is not just dog whistling anti-gay policies, he has stated his desire for the gay community to be persecuted by Christians flat out.”

The Morning News endorsed Broden on Monday. The basis of the endorsement is their disenchantment with Johnson who funneled scholarship money to relatives. Broden’s hatred of the district’s huge LGBT community did not figure into their endorsement. They wrote:

He pastors a small mission church near Fair Park, whose goal is to transform the lives of pimps, prostitutes and addicts. Having seen the district’s needs from the ground up, he believes much more could be done to create jobs and stability.

Apparently The DMN believes those jobs for pimps should come from the LGBT community.

—  David Taffet

Haggard claims he over-repented, but evangelist has never apologized for the harm he caused

Ted Haggard

The Wall Street Journal reports that disgraced minister Ted Haggard says he over-repented.

And apparently 200 people have over-forgiven him.

Haggard was the head of the National Association of Evangelicals who got caught over-using meth with a Denver rentboy four years ago. He’s returned to Colorado Springs (after being run out of town by his former organization) and started a new church. The WSJ reports that the church’s band of losers have outgrown Haggard’s barn and are looking for a new, bigger church where they can pray together, but hopefully not over-pray.

How Haggard “over-repented” is not explained by the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper. The preacher has not over-apologized — or ever apologized — for his years of gay-bashing or for the harm he caused children growing up in evangelical homes who may have listened to his hate speech or had parents who took his message seriously.

He’s renamed his years of hiring prostitutes and doing drugs his “crisis.” He refers to his encounter with former prostitute Mike Jones as a “massage gone awry.”

Why would anyone go to a church and give money to a meth addict who cheats on his wife?

Members of his new congregation told the newspaper they can relax and be themselves with the imperfect pastor. Maybe the members of his church just like knowing that he’s an even bigger loser than they are.

—  David Taffet