Many readers are aware that there are a range of outdated and unusual laws on the books in Louisiana and many other states. From time to time a legal matter that highlights these laws is brought to the attention of the public. One such event recently took place after two men were arrested and charged with a crime against nature.
The arrest took place in Baton Rouge after police allegedly discovered two men engaged in sexual relations in a parked car. A statute exists in Louisiana that prohibits “unnatural carnal copulation” between members of the same sex. However, the Supreme Court addressed the matter nearly ten years ago, and ruled against bans on sexual activity conducted between consenting adults.
This is not the only recent case in which “crimes against nature” have played a role. Police in Baton Rouge conducted a 2013 sting operation in which officers went looking for men who were interested in having consensual gay sex, then arrested those men under the crimes against nature statute. None of those men were prosecuted.
In the current case, it is unclear how the two men charged with a crime against nature will fare. That particular charge was thrown out by a judge, but the men could still face charges of trespassing or engaging in public sex acts. As the case moves forward, many in Louisiana will watch to see how the matter is resolved. In the meantime, the Baton Rouge chief of police has issued a memo to officers to refrain from making additional arrests related to crimes against nature.
Source: thinkprogress.org, “Police Arrest Two Men Under Anti-Sodomy Law Declared Unconstitutional In 2003”, Ian Millhiser, Feb. 20, 2015