New Orleans DA: Change Louisiana Sodomy Laws
Associated Press, February
By Cain Burdeau, Associated Press Writer
This city’s new district attorney said he would support
efforts repeal laws making oral or anal sex illegal in Louisiana.
“If the Legislature is willing to reconsider, I will
testify that private, non-commercial acts of sodomy between consenting adults
are not a public matter and therefore should not be a violation of the law,”
Eddie Jordan said Thursday in a news release.
Under crimes against nature laws, anal or oral sex is a
crime punishable by up to five years in prison and $2,000 in fines.
Gay and lesbian groups have unsuccessfully lobbied the
Legislature to overhaul the law and failed to get the 197-year old statute
overturned in the courts. They say it criminalizes their sex lives and has
been used to target homosexuals for arrest. They also have noted that it
covers sex acts between consenting heterosexual adults.
The law should only apply to prostitution and
non-consenting or public sexual acts, Jordan said. “The state has a
legitimate public interest in holding accountable all persons who are guilty
of these kinds of despicable criminal acts,” the district attorney said.
Jordan, 50, took over from longtime former District
Attorney Harry Connick in January. He is a former U.S. Attorney best known for
prosecuting former Gov. Edwards for racketeering and fraud in a riverboat
casino licensing case. Edwards is serving a 10-year sentence.
Some gay and lesbian activists praised Jordan for taking
a stance on sodomy laws.
“He is the first in this state to come out publicly
advocating for reform of an outdated law,” said Christopher Daigle, chairman
of the Louisiana Lesbian and Gay Political Action Caucus.
Daigle said Jordan was fulfilling a campaign promise. He
added that Jordan appears more willing than Connick was to work on changing
“Harry Connick toyed with it, but never did anything
substantial,” Daigle said. “Connick convened a task force six years ago
that was part of a political promise. The task force was convened once and
But not all activists gave Jordan high marks.
“I applaud him for that, but it’s a faint applaud
because he should have said that when he was running,” said John D. Rawls, a
lawyer for the Louisiana Electorate of Gays and Lesbians Inc., a group which
has sought to get the law overturned in the courts.
Rawls criticized Jordan for wanting to maintain the law
intact in regards to prostitutes and sexual acts in public.
[Home] [News] [Louisiana]