Louisiana House Panel Advances Repeal of Sodomy Law

A Louisiana House committee voted 9-6 this week to repeal the state's unconstitutional sodomy law, the Times Picayune reports:

SmithLanguage in the state statute (La. R.S. 14:89), originally passed in 1975, that outlaws "unnatural carnal copulation" was overturned by a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2003, but was never removed from Louisiana's criminal code. The case struck down anti-sodomy laws in Texas and 13 other states, including Louisiana.

The decade-old case become newly important for state lawmakers last year, when it was revealed male East Baton Rouge Sheriffs Deputies used the anti-sodomy law to set up sting operations in order to solicit sex from other men in local parks, and then arrested these men when they agreed to move the encounter to a private location.

State Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith (pictured), a Democrat who represents the area, joined with gay rights group Equality Louisiana to draft and sponsor House Bill 12 in response to the incidents. The bill would wipe the statute declaring sodomy illegal from state law books.

The measure now goes to the full House.


  1. Jay says

    Don’t expect the yahoos in the Louisiana legislature to do the right thing. They will be more intent on making the Bible the “state book.”

  2. anon says

    That’s okay, in NY the police were still arresting people for laws that had been off the books for years. After all, why bother updating what you learned at the academy.

  3. Ninong says

    The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s office used that unconstitutional law as a way to punish gays. Young deputies would solicit sex from cruising gay men and then arrest them when they agreed. They were booked and thrown into jail even though the sheriff knew the local prosecutor would refuse to charge them and they would have to be released but it punished them for their “sin” in the meantime.

    Even if it passes the full house, Gov. Bobby Jindal will not sign it. He will probably let it go into law without his signature. Maybe he will use his amateur exorcist skills to drive out Satan from the bill.

    I guess if Mississippi can pass a law outlawing slavery, something they finally did last year, then anything is possible.

  4. Derrick from Phiily says

    @ “She looks like she enjoys anal too”

    You could too if you’d just learn how to clean out that nasty thing.

  5. says

    I was the lead attorney in the cases to declare 14:89 unconstitutional. The statute is a hybrid, combining sodomy and anti-gay prostitution. After Lawrence v. Texas the courts literally rewrote the statute, judicially deleting the sodomy language while leaving the prostitution wording intact. The result is that vanilla prostitution is a 6 month misdemeanor while oral or anal prostitution is a 5 year felony. So the cops lie, turning vanilla prostitution into a felony and turning gay sex into oral/anal prostitution. They lie by saying prostitutes offered a blow job and gay park pick ups were for money. Getting rid of this law is long overdue, but every legislative session refuses to do so. Expect viciously ignorant comments on the House floor, rantings by Gene Mills of Louisiana Family Forum and the usual Christianists crawling out of the woodwork.

  6. jamal49 says

    Rick, honey. Bend over and take it like a… Wait. You are a man, right, Rick? Hard to tell these days.

  7. RWG says

    Don’t they have laws against wrongful arrest down there? Why are these miscreant police not being prosecuted?

  8. Rick says

    The above comment was not from me, the “real” Rick, but it was kinda funny, after all.

    I sho’ would not put my thing up that nasty butt, though. No, sirree. Blonde surfer boys for me, thanks.

  9. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “Blonde surfer boys for me, thanks.”

    I imagine they take a lot of disposal income for an old queen, Rick. You got it like that?

  10. Rick says

    That would be “disposable” income, not “disposal” income, Derrick….but it’s Friday afternoon and I am sure you are halfway through that big bottle already, so all is forgiven.

    And yes, I “got it like that”…….