Thirteen years after the U.S. Supreme Court declared sodomy laws unconstitutional, Mississippi is still requiring people convicted under its sodomy statute to register as sex offenders. You may recall that CCR successfully challenged Louisiana’s requirement that people convicted under that state’s archaic “Crime Against Nature by Solicitation” (CANS) law register as sex offenders. As a result of CCR’s lawsuits, hundreds of people convicted of CANS were removed from the Louisiana sex offender registry.
But some of those people moved to Mississippi—and were required to register as sex offenders there!
Mississippi requires anyone convicted, in any state, under a statute that it deems to be an equivalent to its sodomy law to register as a sex offender, even if those individuals are not required to register under the law of the state in which they were convicted.
Yesterday, CCR filed a lawsuit challenging Mississippi’s sodomy statute and its ongoing use to force people to register as sex offenders.
Like Louisiana’s, Mississippi’s registration requirement imposes harsh burdens that make it difficult, and often impossible, to find jobs, housing, and substance abuse treatment. As in Louisiana, Mississippi prosecutors have discretion as to whether they charge someone under a statute that requires registration. And, as with Louisiana’s “Crime Against Nature” law, Mississippi’s sodomy statute rests upon an archaic, discriminatory and unconstitutional prohibition of “unnatural” sex.
This case is an example of CCR’s dogged pursuit of justice, following injustice across state lines to ensure that, when a wrong is put right in one place, it is not allowed to rear its ugly head unchallenged elsewhere.