An Oklahoma preacher who vehemently opposed gay rights stepped down from his congregation and the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention after being arrested this month for allegedly asking an undercover male police officer for oral sex. Lonnie Latham, 60, served as senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church until he left the post following his arrest. He is an outspoken critic of same-sex marriage who urged gays to turn away from their "sinful, destructive lifestyle."
The Houston Voice wrote a nice story on this and had a sidebar with several examples of right wing hypocrisy and scandal.
The most disturbing part of this story, however, is the Oklahoma City District Attorney Wes Lane's explanation of the absurd law that snagged the homo-holy man.
"The law in Oklahoma prohibits an individual from soliciting another to engage in what is considered a lewd act regardless of whether money is sought for or exchanged," Lane said in a statement.
Now, exactly how is a person supposed to get some action if he or she can't proposition or solicit another person? What are people expected to do in Oklahoma, send smoke signals? Talk about a stupid, puritanical law!
This is the same mentality controlling congress and why we're not getting anywhere on equality laws. These are very sick people.
When I first realized that I was gay, I was horrified. (I was a teenager.) I imemdiately accepted Christ as my Savior and joined the Assembly of God church in an attempt to rid myself of an aspect of myself that, at the time, I foolishly thought was something that needed to be overcome. We should pity people like Pastor Lonnie Latham.
I am older now, as all of us are, and I just shake my head when I realize that I was trying to stomp out what was really my best part, a part of me which enabled me to express and receive love, romantic and otherwise.
Latham was born into a conservative community and simply defaulted upon his responsibility to be honest with himself and others. He made use of the facade of fundamentalism to lie to himself and others about his true nature. Of course, we all understand. We don't want to face that rejection.
From the days that I spent in Christian fundamentalism, I can assure you that his loving Christian neighbors are now shunning him and have withdrawn that false idea of "love" that they like to wear on their sleeve.
Pastor Latham, if you're reading this, the gay community will welcome you with open arms once you decide that you've had enough of the lie. And when you do join us, you will find out what true love is really all about.
posted by Chris L., at
1/27/2006 11:09 AM
Now wait a minute...isn't a mutually agreed upon situation just like this between same sex adults, EXACTLY what the overturning of Hardwick was about?
Why are the law enforcers trolling around that area anyway...solely for the purpose of catching gay men? What about this same activity that goes on between opposite sex adults? Is the state as equally concerned with them?
posted by Regan, at
1/27/2006 11:17 AM
Doesn't this raise issues of entrapment? Do they enforce this law when it applies to heterosexuals? Or is this not some kind of creepy crackdown on gay men?
Regan, I agree with you. The area in which Latham was trolling was supposedly a gay cruising area and had become for some of the self-righteous rednecks in the neighborhood. The hypocrisy of these people is amazing. If it had been a female prostitution area, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion.
I guess they've never heard of Lawrence v. Texas in Oklahoma. There are other sodomy laws still on the books and the rabid Republicans in bed with the evangelicals won't move on them.
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