Last edited: February 14, 2005

Statement of Kevin Ivers, Capital Area Log Cabin in favor of Sodomy Law Reform

Statement of Kevin Ivers

Director of Federal Affairs,
Capital Area Log Cabin

before the Judiciary Committee of the Council
of the District of Columbia

January 29, 1993

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Members of the Judiciary Committee, my name is Kevin Ivers, and I am on the board of directors of Capital Area Log Cabin, an auxiliary organization of the District of Columbia Republican Committee. I am here today to voice my support for the Right to Privacy Amendment Act of 1993. As a Republican, I am particularly concerned about keeping the government out of the private lives of individuals and families in this country. The best kind of legislation is that which limits government, and the Right to Privacy Amendment Act meets that standard.

This legislation is long overdue. The community no longer has any use for the archaic law that this legislation will amend.

Sodomy laws should remain to prohibit forcible sexual attacks, and sexual acts with persons under the established age of consent. Acts of prostitution should remain illegal under such laws as well. The Right to Privacy Amendment Act provides all these prohibitions to remain in place, and the community will continue to be protected from activity that it should not tolerate. This legislation does not legalize prostitution, nor does it change the age of consent.

However, the latitude of the current law which prohibits consensual, non-commercial acts in the privacy of the home, even between married individuals, will be curbed as it should be. Government should have no role in dictating standards of behavior in the bedroom between consenting adults. Such is the responsibility of the individual and his or her own conscience.

This legislation does not create any "special rights" for any particular group. In fact, it will decriminalize private behavior which over 90% of the residents of the District of Columbia engage in. Surely, if the current law were enforced, nearly the entire population of the city would be facing ten years in prison. Those who criticize this legislation don't seem to realize how ridiculous the current law truly is, and how it should have been changed long ago.

Whatever issues of personal morality that are in debate among various segments of society remain unaddressed by this legislation. Most mainline conservatives, including William F. Buckley, now agree that laws which criminalize private, consensual, non-commercial sexual acts between adults are ludicrous, and that fellow conservatives should be unafraid to repeal them.

No matter how much certain groups object to the private behavior of others, there is an absolute limit to how the government may be used to express those objections. The Right to Privacy Amendment Act reaffirms that limitation of government power, and does not prejudice any religious or moral arguments from any segment of society.

I am a gay man, and I represent a gay and lesbian organization today. But I feel I speak for the overwhelming majority of citizens in the District of Columbia by stating that the government has no rights, only privileges. And intruding into the most personal aspects of my private life is a privilege that I will never grant to any government. That is the principle upon which we built this country. That is the principle that you must uphold as public servants.

I thank the committee for letting me appear today, and I strongly urge the Council to pass this legislation.

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