Among Ohioans, it is well understood that there are laws that have been put into place to punish offenders who commit acts of sexual assault; including the act of seeking sexual relations with an underage victim. On the other hand, an unpopular law that has been put into place serves to punish gay men and women for wanting to have sexual relations in Akron, Ohio.
The Ohio Importuning Law includes a broad range of protections for victims of sexual misconduct, with varying degrees of felonies or misdemeanors as punishment for sexual crimes. This law seems entirely ordinary at the state level. Nonetheless, if one looks further into the Akron anti-gay Importuning Law 133.04 (B), it states the following;
“No person shall solicit a person of the same sex to engage in sexual activity with the offender when the offender knows the solicitation is offensive to the other person or is reckless in that regard.”
This clearly Anti-Gay Importuning Law means that if a gay male asks a straight male to engage in sexual relations, or if a gay female asks a straight female to engage in sexual relations, and the recipient finds it offensive, the punishment is a misdemeanor of the first degree, carrying up to 6 months jail and $1000 in fines. A potential crime in Akron would occur like this:
Gay person: “Hey, do you want to have sex?”
Straight person: “No, that offends me...I'm calling the police” *shows them the Anti-Gay Akron Importuning Law 133.04*
On the other hand, a female straight person can ask a male straight person the same question, and even if the man finds it offensive, it is not a crime.
This law is discriminatory, and it is still in effect today. If you live in Akron as a gay person, be careful what you say!