Last edited: April 16, 2005



  • Statute: 14.89, Crime Against Nature. Unconstitutional under Lawrence v. Texas
  • Penalty: 5 years/$2000
  • Classification: Felony
  • Restrictions: None

Declared constitutional by the Louisiana Supreme Court in State of Louisiana v. Mitchell Smith on July 6, 2000. A March 19, 2001 ruling finds the law to be unconstitutional and the case is automatically being returned to the Louisiana Supreme Court.

A legislative repeal remains very promising, despite a loss in the House, a plurality of Representatives voted in favor of repeal in May 2001, as did a clear majority of the Senate in April 2001.


R.S. 14:89

    A. Crime against nature is:

    (1) The unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same or opposite sex or with an animal, except that anal sexual intercourse between two human beings shall not be deemed as a crime against nature when done under any of the circumstances described in R.S. 14:41, 14:42, 14:42.1 or 14:43. Emission is not necessary; and, when committed by a human being with another, the use of the genital organ of one of the offenders of whatever sex is sufficient to constitute the crime.

    (2) The solicitation by a human being of another with intent to engage in any unnatural carnal copulation for compensation.

    B. Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined for not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or both.

Amended by Acts 1975, No. 612,§ 1; Acts 1982, No. 703,§ 1.

R.S. 14:41, 14:42, 14:42.1 and 14:43 and deal with rape and sexual battery.


            1824     A proposed criminal code for Louisiana by jurist Edward Livingston would have repealed the state’s sodomy law, which would have been by the far the earliest decriminalization in U.S. history. The legislature does not accept the proposal.

            1882     The Louisiana Supreme Court is the first in the nation to reject a challenge to a sodomy law as too vague to be constitutional.

            1896     Louisiana outlaws oral sex and the law to do so is the 69th to pass the legislature of the year, so that the anti-oral sex law is known officially as Act 69.

            1900     The most amusing courtroom testimony to be reprinted in a sodomy case appears in a case decided by the Louisiana Supreme Court with: The defendant “s____d the ____ of my son Ned until he has lost his mind.”

            1942     The earliest known law review criticism of a sodomy law appears in the Tulane Law Review. The sodomy law was one of several laws in a new code that deserved criticism, according to the article, but “space does not permit their consideration.”

            1962     Louisiana becomes the first state to bifurcate its sodomy law to include an “aggravated crime against nature” crime.

            1982     Louisiana becomes the first state to make solicitation for compensation of an act of sodomy to be a completed act of sodomy.

            2000     The Louisiana Supreme Court, upholding the state’s sodomy law against a privacy challenge, states that what the voters actually was saying in adopting a privacy amendment to the state constitution is that they wanted to retain the right of the legislature to make decisions on privacy for them.

Case Law



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