Six years ago, high school senior Michael Byars briefly dated a freshman girl. They had sex, and so Byers became not only a criminal — guilty of “lascivious acts with a child,” — but also permanently branded as a “sex offender.”
As Byars, now 24, tried to enter into the real world, his sex-offender status, and lifetime on parole was a huge obstacle. So he decided to exercise his First Amendment rights, and petition the government for the redress of grievances. He started pushing for legislation in his state of Iowa that would create a pathway for some sex offenders — guilty of non-violent offenses — to clear their name and get out of parole.
State officials decided that by trying to convince these lawmakers to pass this bill — specifically, registering to lobby, even though he didn’t have to — Byars had “obtained employment” as a lobbyist. Because he violated parole, his employer fired him.
As some other blogger sometimes says: Tar, feathers.