Last edited: December 03, 2004

Committee Gives Approval to Bill Abolishing Archaic Sex Laws

Associated Press, March 5, 2002

BOSTON—A bill abolishing a series of Colonial-era sex laws was given a favorable recommendation by a Statehouse panel Tuesday.

The bill would strike out an anti-sodomy law, a law establishing a three-year prison sentence for adultery and a law barring the manufacture and advertisement of contraceptives.

The move comes just weeks after the Supreme Judicial Court refused to rule unconstitutional two anti-sodomy laws, but did limit how the laws could be enforced.

The bill would repeal one of the two laws barring "abominable and detestable crime against nature," interpreted as anal intercourse, but would leave on the books a second law barring "unnatural and lascivious act(s)," interpreted as oral sex.

The bill was given a favorable recommendation by the Criminal Justice Committee. It now heads to the full Senate.

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