This is 2013, not 1953, right? It’s understandable if you’re as confused as we are about the century you’re in after learning that deputies in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana are — allegedly — targeting gay men and arresting them for hooking up in the privacy of their homes because of the state’s refusal to repeal its anti-sodomy laws which were deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court 10 years ago, reports The New Civil Rights Movement.
I mean, we’ve seen things on the streets in New Orleans that would surely make the heads of these deputies spin around, yet elsewhere in the Creole state, a dozen gay men have been arrested since 2011 by the Sheriff’s Office task force for merely discussing or agreeing to have consensual sex with an undercover agent, according to the Advocate. Read that carefully — consensual sex. This isn’t prostitution as no money ever changed hands and it’s not sex in a public place, it’s just consensual sex between two adults in the privacy of a home.
The Advocate offers a vivid depiction of the event that unfolded:
An undercover East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy was staking out Manchac Park about 10 a.m. one day this month when a slow-moving sedan pulling into the parking lot caught his attention. The deputy parked alongside the 65-year-old driver and, after denying being a cop, began a casual conversation that was electronically monitored by a backup team nearby.
As the two men moved their chat to a picnic table, the deputy propositioned his target with “some drinks and some fun” back at his place, later inquiring whether the man had any condoms, according to court records. After following the deputy to a nearby apartment, the man was handcuffed and booked into Parish Prison on a single count of attempted crime against nature.
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hickshas denied deputies are misapplying the law, stating, “[The anti-sodomy law] is a law that is currently on the Louisiana books, and the sheriff is charged with enforcing the laws passed by our Louisiana Legislature. Whether the law is valid is something for the courts to determine, but the sheriff will enforce the laws that are enacted.”