By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com July 28 2013 3:54 PM ET
UPDATE: The Sheriff's Office is backtracking and now says it didn't realize anti-sodomy laws weren't valid anymore. (Read More)
The sheriff in East Baton Rouge doesn't care that the Supreme Court ruled anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional a decade ago, it's still on the books in Louisiana, so he's still arresting men for it.
A dozen men have been arrested there since 2011, with the most recent this month, according to a report by Louisiana newspaper The Advocate. A spokesman for Sheriff Sid J. Gautreaux (pictured) told the newspaper that “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."
So police have arranged a series of stings, in which an undercover policeman woos an unsuspecting gay man back to his apartment for sex and then makes an arrest. The newspaper notes that no money is promised, which would actually be illegal. The sheriff's department spokesman argues that because the men initially meet at the park, a public place, it's unseemly.
Although the local district attorney tells the newspaper he has no intention of prosecuting, one of the men described the entire experience o being arrested and brought to jail as "intimidation" and says that he's still trying to "block everything I can possibly can about it out of my consciousness."
Despite a Supreme Court ruling in 2003 that invalidated anti-sodomy laws via the Lawrence v. Texas case, Salon recently noted that some 22 states still have a version on the books, 13 of which specifically target same-sex couples. In Virginia, the Republican candidate for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, has actually sued to keep the law in tact while serving as the state's attorney general.
Read more at The Advocate newspaper.