This is an update to an earlier post: More thoughts about Baptists, some rethinking
I still am not sure what the ethics of discussing situations like the Lonnie Latham story. I feel very sorry for him and his situation, yet there is no doubt that the situation is a matter of public discussion and since law enforcement and the instutional church world is very much intertwined in it, it is hard to say that it is now purely a private matter.
Anyway all of that said, I cautiously want to discuss this article posted on the IMC today…
. . . Mr. Latham was arrested in Oklahoma City on the night of January 3, and was charged with soliciting a lewd act from an undercover policeman who was in the predominately gay club district to investigate reports from motorists complaining of curbside solicitations.
According to wire service stories and the Oklahoman newspaper, which quoted police reports, Mr. Latham followed the unmarked police car where the two drivers then stopped at the parking lot of a vacant office building. Mr. Latham then engaged the undercover policeman in conversation which included an invitation to return to Mr. Latham’s motel room for oral sex.
The police report says there was no offer of or exchange of money. . .
Now here’s where the politics, in the disguise of police entrapment, comes in. The United States Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. TX (2003) overturned sodomy laws in all states. That decision said that if there is no commercial interest, and if the people involved are consenting adults, then private sexual activity is not illegal.
So here’s the kicker: Is the invitation for an anonymous encounter between two same-gender adults with the intent of private sexual _expression to be enacted in a rented motel room considered an act of sodomy in light of the Lawrence decision?
It’s up to Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane, who by the way is up for re-election in 2006, to decide whether to file the lewdness charge against Lonnie “Luke”. . .
This story is getting more and more crazy. When did it become illegal for one consenting adult to ask another consenting adult to have sex in private hotel room? Straight people do it all the time (either explicitly or implicitly). I had assumed when the media reports said that he had propositioned the undercover cop that this was a prostitution thing, but that’s not what the police report reportedly says.
Don’t get me wrong. I think it is stupid and unethical to hook up with strangers for sex (whether you’re gay or straight) but as long as the sex is not happening in a public place, it shouldn’t be illegal to hook up. I thought the Lawrence decision made it clear that what consenting adults do behind closed doors is a private thing. The DA should drop these charges and I honestly think that Latham should bring a civil suit against the OKC PD for charging him in the first place. Maybe there’s something I’m missing here, but the whole thing seems pretty goofy to me.