The U.S. Supreme Court declared all sodomy laws as unconstitutional in 2003 in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. However, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Idaho all require people who were convicted of sodomy before then to register as sex offenders, even if they move to another of those three states.
Now, a man publicly identified as “John Doe” is suing South Carolina for requiring him to register as a sex offender after his 2001 sodomy arrest for having consensual sex with another man. His case is just the latest example of how anti-sodomy laws continue to harm queer people.
Doe’s lawsuit, filed on December 22, says that the requirement violates his Fourteenth Amendment constitutional rights to due process and equal protection under the law.
Registering as a sex offender has harmed Doe’s life, he said. The registry is public and requires a person to “report to the sheriff’s office twice a year and provide detailed information about his residence, his employment status, and every online account he has, in addition to copies of his fingerprints and palm prints.”