A man who was registered as a sex offender for having consensual gay sex is fighting to get his name removed from the list

INSIDER: Canela López; May 17, 2021, 4:42 PM

  • Randall Menges’ name was added to multiple sex offender registries after having consensual gay sex.
  • Menges told the New York Times he considered suicide because of the fallout.
  • A federal judge ruled to remove him from the list, but Montana’s attorney general is fighting back.

Randall Menges was just 18 years old when he was put on the Idaho state sex offender registry, according to the New York Times.

While at summer camp in 1993, Menges had consensual sex with two other teenage boys. He was charged with “crimes against nature” for having oral and anal sex and went to prison for seven years. His name was also added to Idaho’s sex offender registry. 

After moving to Montana, Menges was also put on that state’s sex offender registry because of a law that dictates all people considered sex offenders in other states must be added to Montana’s list once they relocate.

According to the Daily Montanan, a Montana federal judge ruled on May 12 that Menges should no longer be on the sex offender registry.

However, after the ruling, the state’s attorney general, Austin Knudsen, said he will fight against the decision for “weaken[ing] our state’s sex-offender registry law, making kids and families less safe.” Knudsen argued because Idaho has yet to remove Menges from its list of sex offenders, he should remain on Montana’s list as well.

Three states still place people who break sodomy laws on sex offender registries 

Before 2003, when the Supreme Court ruled against anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas, multiple states had laws prohibiting LGBTQ sex in some capacity, usually banning oral and anal sex between people of the same sex. 

Lawrence v. Texas only outlawed sodomy laws that specifically mention sex between people of the same sex. According to the Associated Press, 12 states across the country have anti-sodomy laws that don’t specifically mention people of the same sex.

Idaho, South Carolina, and Mississippi still require people who break those laws to remain on sex offender registries. 

People who end up on sex offender registries are unable to get jobs, housing, and are socially shunned, which can impact their mental and physical health, according to the ACLU. Menges told the New York Times he considered suicide because of the fallout from a punishment that has followed him for nearly three decades. 

Menges, now 45, said the prosecution is ignoring the personal impact these laws have had on his life for the sake of “stronger” sex offender laws.

“It’s not that what I did was wrong,” Menges told the New York Times. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: