New Orleans cops use ancient "unnatural copulation" law to turn prostitutes into sex-offenders

New Orleans cops are busting hookers under a nineteenth century felony law against "unnatural copulation" (NOLA PD says that oral or anal sex count), which means that they have to register as sex offenders. And life as a sex offender is terrible:

Of the 861 sex offenders currently registered in New Orleans, 483 were convicted of a crime against nature, according to Doug Cain, a spokesperson with the Louisiana State Police. And of those convicted of a crime against nature, 78 percent are Black and almost all are women.

The law impacts sex workers in both small and large ways.

Tabitha has to register an address in the sex offender database, and because she doesn't have a permanent home, she has registered the address of a nonprofit organization that is helping her. She also has to purchase and mail postcards with her picture to everyone in the neighborhood informing them of her conviction. If she needs to evacuate to a shelter during a hurricane, she must evacuate to a special shelter for sex offenders, and this shelter has no separate safe spaces for women. She is even prohibited from very ordinary activities in New Orleans like wearing a costume at Mardi Gras.

Her Crime? Sex Work in New Orleans

(via JWZ)

(Image: 42-15538090, a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike image from MajoraCarterGroup' s photostream)