Doe v. Jindal
In Louisiana, unlike in any other state, individuals who have allegedly engaged in solicitation of oral or anal sex for compensation are treated differently depending on whether the government chooses to charge them under the prostitution statute or the Louisiana's Crime Against Nature by Solicitation ("CANS") statute. Unlike the prostitution law, the CANS law imposes mandatory sex offender registration. The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of nine individuals who were registered as sex offenders after being charged by CANS.
Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Breakout!, a project of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, submitted a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the statute unconstitutionally targets LGBT individuals because of state-sponsored bias. The statute unduly targets the LGBT community by focusing on oral and anal sex, and is particularly used to target transgender women. In addition, prosecutors have complete and arbitrary discretion to apply CANS, leaving LGBT individuals susceptible to prejudicial treatment.
- February 16, 2011 The Center for Constitutional Rights files a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of nine individuals who were registered as sex offenders after being charged by CANS.
- June 21, 2011 Lambda Legal files an amicus brief in the case, along with the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
- September 7, 2011 Defendants’ motions to dismiss were granted in part (the plaintiffs’ claims asserted against Governor Bobby Jindal are dismissed, and the claims based on violations of the Eighth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Substantive and Procedural Due Process Clause are dismissed as to all defendants) and denied in part (the plaintiffs’ claim based on an alleged violation of the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause survives as against all defendants, except as against Governor Jindal).
Kenneth D. Upton
Carol A. Kolinchak, Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana; Jody Marksamer, National Center for Lesbian Rights; Pooja Gehi, Sylvia Rivera Law Project.