Louisiana Court Upholds Ban on Sodomy
Associated Press, March 29, 2002
By Kevin McGill
NEW ORLEANS (AP)—In a defeat for gay rights
activists, the state Supreme Court refused Thursday to strike down Louisiana’s
nearly 200-year-old ban on sodomy.
The high court said the law does not violate the privacy right spelled out
in the state’s constitution. Thursday’s ruling came in a civil lawsuit
filed by the Louisiana Electorate of Gays and Lesbians Inc. The court issued
much the same opinion in 2000 in a criminal case.
John Rawls, attorney for the gay rights group and a plaintiff in the case,
lamented the ruling, and noted the law applies to heterosexuals, too.
"The Supreme Court of Louisiana has said the government can go into
anyone’s bedroom, including married persons, and criminalize what they are
doing, even between consenting adults in private with no one watching and
nobody paying for anything," he said.
Attorney General Richard Ieyoub was not in his office Thursday evening when
called for comment.
State Rep. Tony Perkins led a successful fight against a bill to change the
law last year. "The Legislature has continually upheld this statute. ...
I think it’s appropriate that the court recognize that the Legislature has a
right to do that."
The suit also attacked the law on other grounds, including claims it
discriminates against homosexuals. The high court refused to rule on those
issues Thursday, meaning they remain alive before the state 4th Circuit Court
of Appeal in a separate action.
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