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Creep of the Week: Lonnie W. Latham

By |2007-03-01T09:00:00-05:00March 1st, 2007|Entertainment|

I know, I know, this closeted anti-gay minister thing is getting old (I’d actually call it “pandemic”). But tell that to the Rev. Lonnie W. Latham, busted after asking an undercover cop if he’d like a blowjob.
Apparently the cop did not. He did, however, want to arrest a homo. Unfortunately for Latham, the homo in question also happened to be a Baptist church leader and a “gay marriage” hater.
Initially Latham claimed he’d been framed and he’d only been out ministering in the area. However, the police don’t remember anything about prayer, but they do remember Latham claiming he was a hot Dallas stud named “Luke.”
Latham has since resigned as pastor of the South Tulsa Baptist Church and from his leadership position in the anti-gay Southern Baptist Convention.
According to the Associated Press, Latham “had supported a resolution calling on gays and lesbians to reject their ‘sinful, destructive lifestyle’ before his Jan. 3, 2006, arrest outside the Habana Inn in Oklahoma City.”
For those not familiar with Oklahoma City gay life, the Habana Inn prides itself on being “The Southwest’s Largest Gay Resort Hotel.” Which means neither Latham nor the cop ended up there by accident.
Now, a year later, Latham’s lawyer, Mack Martin, is now using the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which overturned laws making it illegal for consenting adults to engage in homosexual acts, in his client’s defense.
Never mind that before he was busted, Latham and the Southern Baptist Convention supported such anti-gay and anti-sex laws.
Martin wants the charge against Latham thrown out because it’s a violation of Latham’s free speech rights and Latham didn’t do anything illegal.
“Now, my client’s being prosecuted basically for having offered to engage in such an act, which basically makes it a crime to ask someone to do something that’s legal,” Martin said.
The America Civil Liberties Union agrees and filed a motion saying so.
Then there’s the issue of how Latham got snagged in the first place. Sean Kosofsky of Detroit’s Triangle Foundation, said, “Entrapment operations, even when they snag bad people, are illegal and� should be stopped.”
Of course, closeted anti-gay ministers also need to be stopped. Not only do they harm LGBT people, they’re also destroying themselves and hurting everyone around them, including their families and congregations. After all, how can you speak the Truth if you live a lie?
Jamie McDaniel of Soulforce said at the time of Latham’s arrest, “It’s tragic that so many, like Rev. Latham, have never been told the truth that they can live with dignity and express their God-given sexuality in ways that are open, honest, loving and life-affirming.”
“No one should have to come out via an undercover sting operation,” said Rev. Dr. Mel White, founder of Soulforce. “That is its own evil. Until the Southern Baptist Convention ends their spiritual violence against gay and lesbian people, tragedies like this will continue.”

About the Author:

D'Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.
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