Carrying a Condom in New Orleans Could Get You Arrested for Prostitution

condoms-gaysThere’s a scary new report out from Human Rights Watch, detailing alleged abuse by the New Orleans Police Department.

According to the report, police there have started using condom possession as evidence of prostitution. In other words, if they find a condom in your wallet, they might haul you off to jail.

They don’t need to witness you doing anything else. One woman reports that the police searched all the trans people at a bar and arrested any who had condoms.

This is a huge problem, obviously, since it means that people will be less inclined to use protection. In fact, the report also documented a decrease in condom use directly attributed to the harassment.

Police in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC are also reported to be using condoms as evidence against sex workers.

But safe-sex advocates are fighting back: the state of New York just passed a law banning the use of condoms to arrest sex workers. And in DC, the police seem to have renounced the practice.

In New Orleans, however, there’s no indication that the harassment will stop. And the state’s rate of AIDS-related mortality is more than twice the national average, good grief. Legal reforms are needed to make harm-reduction possible.

In the mean time, if you’re in NOLA, be safe, please.

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  • hyhybt

    I assume the intent isn’t to convict, but to harass?

  • KittyLitter

    pass on all but the guy on the far left with green condom.

  • TheMarc

    This is outrageous. It’s not just harassment; it encourages people to not carry condoms on themselves which could lead to unsafe sexual practices. Last I checked, New Orleans has bigger problems than prostitutes. Maybe their police force should get out there and do some actual crime busting and stop going for “low-hanging fruit” just to make it appear as though they are doing their jobs.

  • hotshot70

    so, either carry condoms and be safe from STDs, but get arrested, or, don’t carry condoms and be at risk of dying from AIDS, HIV, or other diseases.

  • SteveDenver

    What if I have a bag full of condoms and safe sex information and am passing it out on behalf of a local education or AIDS relief agency, will I be arrested for “intent to distribute?”

    If police don’t want to be perceived as crooked and stupid, then the smart ones better fight crap like this because it gives all of them a bad rap.

  • Jake357

    “One woman reports…” Could we do a bit more digging on this? It sounds a bit spurious. I mean, is this report nothing more than anecdotal “evidence” without much real proof? If so, I assume we’re giving the same amount of credibility to the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot? I know people in NOLA and for several years I lived just a short drive away myself. Never caught wind of any of this. It makes me wonder…

  • enfilmigult

    @Jake357: All you have to do is click on the links. The entire 67-page report itself is available to see, they’re not bashful about their methodology. Unless Human Rights Watch just makes reports up completely this does seem to be based on something real.

  • scorpio7457

    The picture and headline are misleading. The headline should read “Carrying condoms can get you arrested in New Orleans if you are black and transgendered. ” And the picture should not be of hot shirtless boys, it should be of the superfierce girls on St Louis or Rampart Streets. Hot gay men are no longer marginalized enough to be harassed by the NOPD because we are united, have money and can fight. But if you are black, poor and trans, you’re screwed in this city. If the police see you in the Quarter, your mere presence and appearance provide probable cause to stop and search you. When they find your condoms, thats proof that you are tricking. Then, off you go to Orleans Parish Prison to be raped bareback. And no, that is not an exaggeration. That is EXACTLY what happens here.

  • Sandra M. Mitchell

    what Patricia replied I am inspired that a student able to get paid $8836 in 4 weeks on the computer. see this page…

  • tada-no

    They are targeting trans and hetero prostitutes so shirtless hot gay men are not victims of NOPD. The story just sounds like a bad excuse from Gay Inc. to explain high rates of barebacking happening all over U.S. and European gay communities without police condom harassment in the mix.

  • Camsean01

    Revolting trans/homophobic ‘policing’ at it’s worst.

  • djs

    It’s preposterous cause its a lie! I was just out last night in my town of nola and just like every hour of every day they were passing out tons of free condoms on bourbon. I walked out with quite a few myself in my front shirt pocket. Like a town where during decadence you can have sex in the streets would arrest you for this.

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