Idaho Sheriff Threatens To Stop Sponsoring Boy Scout Troop Because ‘Sodomy’ Is Illegal

Kootenai County, Idaho Sheriff Ben Wolfinger threatened on Friday to drop his department’s sponsorship of a Boy Scout troop because “[i]t would be inappropriate for the sheriff’s office to sponsor an organization that is promoting a lifestyle that is in violation of state law.” Just in case there was any ambiguity regarding what “lifestyle” Wolfinger was referring to, he also sent a copy of an anti-sodomy statute that is still on the books in Idaho to an official for the Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts of America’s National Council voted last week to stop discriminating against gay scouts, although they will continue to exclude LGBT people from scout leadership.

Although Idaho still has a law on its books providing that “[e]very person who is guilty of the infamous crime against nature, committed with mankind or with any animal, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not less than five years,” the Supreme Court held in Lawrence v. Texas that non-commerical sexual activity between consenting adults cannot be criminalized under the Constitution. So Wolfinger is wrong about what is and is not illegal in Idaho because states are not permitted to enforce unconstitutional laws.