Court Upholds Louisiana Sodomy Law
Associated Press, November 22, 2002
By Cain Burdeau
SUMMARY: Louisiana’s 197-year-old sodomy law does not discriminate
against gays and lesbians, a state appeals court ruled.
NEW ORLEANS—Louisiana’s 197-year-old sodomy law
does not discriminate against gays and lesbians, a state appeals court ruled.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled 2-1 on Wednesday against a gay
advocacy group, leaving Louisiana’s sodomy law intact.
"This decision continues to put Louisiana outside the
mainstream," said John D. Rawls, an attorney for Louisiana Electorate of
Gays and Lesbians Inc., which challenged the law.
"We are still the only state whose courts deny a right to privacy to
its citizens, we are still the only state whose courts have upheld sodomy
laws, we are still back in the 18th century unfortunately," he said.
The state Supreme Court ruled that the law against oral and anal sex does
not violate the right to privacy, based on a state appeal. But plaintiffs had
asked the appeals court to consider the trial judge’s ruling that the law
does not amount to unconstitutional discrimination.
The dissenter on the appeals court, Judge Charles R. Jones, had not
released his opinion by early Friday. The other two judges, Joan Bernard
Armstrong and David S. Gorbaty, said the plaintiffs brought no evidence that
the "crime against nature" law discriminates against gays and
"In the trial case, discriminatory purpose by the lawmaking body was
not given," the opinion said.
The appeals court also sided with the trial judge in not letting witnesses
testify as to the harmful effects of the law on gays and lesbians.
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