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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ex-Reverend Lonnie gets off on hustlers and technicalities

Back in those carefree days before most of us had heard the name Ted Haggard, (or, if we had heard it, we had no idea he was experiencing "the sins of Sodom" first-hand with a hustler who was also supplying him with crystal meth) There was only Oklahoma's Rev. Lonnie Latham to make fun of.

Rev. Lonnie, for those who don't recall, was a Southern Baptist preacher and leader who was picked up in a prostitution sting outside Oklahoma City's notorius Habana Inn for propositioning a hustler. (The full story is here ... just scroll down to the bottom on the page on the link.) Lonnie tried to explain it away by claiming he was conducting a new sort of Baptist sidewalk ministry to save those pitiful homo-seck-shuls from the hellfire of eternal damnation.

Poor Lonnie! He had to step down from his church and his leadership position within the Southern Baptist Convention. Southern Baptists, it seems, don't take kindly to the fellas they look up to for moral guidance getting down on their knees for any reason other than prayer. While the Baptists shunned him and gays made him posterboy for denial, he did make a few friends like those godless, pro-commie, pro-abortion, pro-gay rights folks at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Makes you wonder which caused Rev. Lonnie more embarassment: getting caught in a prostitution sting at an infamous gay hotel or being defended by the ACLU?

Rev. Lonnie had his day in court recently and, unlike his interupted business transaction/sidewalk ministry with a young hustler, this time Lonnie got off.

According to an article in

An Oklahoma judge on Wednesday acquitted a former Southern Baptist Convention leader accused of propositioning an undercover male police officer, but did not address whether the lewdness statute under which he was charged is unconstitutional, according to news reports.

Latham's attorney last month filed a motion to have Oklahoma's lewdness statute declared unconstitutional, based on Lawrence v. Texas, a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that states cannot make it a crime for consenting adults to engage in homosexual acts.

Unlike other suspects arrested in the Oklahoma City sting operation, Latham reportedly did not discuss exchanging money. If an act isn't criminal, attorney Mack Martin argued in a two-week non-jury trial, it shouldn't be illegal to discuss it.

Martin told the Tulsa World that Latham was ecstatic about the verdict when he spoke to him Wednesday afternoon. The Associated Press added that Latham is not bitter about the case. Latham reportedly did not return phone calls to the newspaper Wednesday afternoon.

So Brother Lonnie got off on a technicality instead of a hustler ... all because he didn't discuss the idea of paying for the services of the hustler.

That's kind of a weak vindication, Lonnie. It doesn't mean you weren't trying to get the guy up to a room for a little "service" of your own. In fact, based on the Southern Baptist preachers I've known, it's probably much more likely that Rev. Lonnie was looking for a little freebie to ease the tension of conducting his sidewalk ministry. And if the business deal had been concluded, Rev. Lonnie would have no doubt found a way to write it off on his taxes. Doesn't screaming "Oh Gawd! Oh Jay-Zuz! Ah'm comin'," amount to conducting a church service?

If these was justice in the world, Rev. Lonnie would step up and announce that he is gay ... that he's always been gay ... that he was born that way ... and that despite all his prayers, he's still gay.

That's not likely to happen though. As the EthicsDaily article continues: "As a spokesman in media, he reportedly supported the SBC's position that homosexuality should not be tolerated but rather overcome through religious faith and counseling aimed at changing sexual orientation." So instead what we'll likely see is Rev. Lonnie coming back in a few months to announce that he's completely cured of his perverted urges and if you'll just send him enough money and sign up for his "Pray Away the Gay" seminars, you, too, can be healed!