Appeal Court Hears Arguments over Louisiana Sodomy Law
March 31, 2005
By The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—A gay
rights lawyer told an appeals court Thursday that a Louisiana law is
discriminatory because it allows the state to break up advocacy groups like
John Rawls, of the Louisiana Electorate for Gays and
Lesbians, told three judges of the state 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that
anytime an attorney general wants to, he can come along and haul his
organization into court. The justices made no immediate ruling.
The panel said they would consider Rawls’ argument
against the law and his claim against remaining parts of the so-called
“crimes against nature” law forbidding human sex with animals,
solicitation for oral and anal sex, and nonconsensual sex.
Thursday’s court argument has its origins in a 2003
U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down anti-sodomy laws across the nation.
Last year, Judge Robert Murphy of Jefferson Parish
followed the Supreme Court by striking down part of the “crimes against
nature” law making it criminal for consenting adults to have oral or anal
But he declined to strike down a law making the state
attorney general’s office responsible for prosecuting homosexual groups as
well as those promoting prostitution and narcotics.
Rawls wants the references to homosexuality struck from
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