Junior High Kids Get Short Course in States Archaic Sex Laws (excerpted)
Republic, March 18, 2001
Box 1950, Phoenix, AZ 85001
If Arizona lawmakers oppose sex education in schools, then kids will just
have to troop down to the Capitol if they want to learn about the birds and
The freewheeling House debate this week over the potential repeal of
Arizonas archaic sex laws decades-old prohibitions against sodomy, oral
sex and cohabitation contained some of the graphic highlights and
lowlights of the session. And a troop of junior high girls from SS. Simon and
Jude Catholic School got to see most of it.
There was Rep. Steve Mays recounting of archaic sex laws in action, a
1944 police raid on a house where officers entered "because they heard
the crime of fellatio being committed from outside." There was no
indication whether it was detected by specially trained police dogs, or was
just really loud.
When Green Valley Republican Randy Graf, a clearly embarrassed archaic law
defender, suggested authorities take a "dont ask, dont tell"
approach to enforcement, a piercing "Oh, God!" came from across the
room. The culprit was the openly gay May, R-Paradise Valley, who recently
battled the Army over its "dont ask, dont tell" policy on
And it wouldnt have been a sex laws debate without Rep. Karen Johnson,
R-Mesa, pitching in. She wants to send the message that the Legislature doesnt
condone sodomy, oral sex or other crimes against nature. But when challenged
over criticism of other message-sending bills, she insisted "these are
not feel-good laws."
If these arent feel-good laws, it would be hard to find any that are. .
. . .I dont get mad, I get mad and even... That would seem to be Rep.
Jeff Hatch-Millers motto these days. A move by some of his fellow House
members to, in his words, "advance their gay agenda" has got him in
a vengeful finger-wagging tizzy.
When Hatch-Millers bill to outlaw a loophole in child pornography laws
was amended to add the repeal of the states archaic sex laws, he vowed to
get back. (Yes, those pesky archaic sex laws again).
The not-so-brotherly amendment, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Bill
Brotherton, would have listed Hatch-Miller, R-Paradise Valley, as the sponsor
of the bill repealing a law that prohibits such acts as sodomy, oral sex and
living together out of wedlock.
Hatch-Miller, who voted against his own bill after the amendment passed,
has since threatened to kill any bill sponsored by a gay legislator (there are
three in the House), according to Brotherton. Of course Brothertons bills
were targeted as well. Hatch-Miller even went so far as to try to have
Brothertons bill to allow police to stop people solely for not wearing
their seat belt killed in committee by begging the chairman not to hear it.
She did, and it passed, showing that the tactics that flourished under former
Speaker Jeff Groscost may be falling out of vogue.
"Unless your name ends with Weiers, Gnant, or (Gov. Jane) Hull, a
promise to single-handedly kill bills is in vain," Brotherton retorted.
- Compiled by political reporters Robbie Sherwood, Chip Scutari, Mike
McCloy and Beth DeFalco.
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