Bill Would Repeal Gross Indecency Law
News, May 5, 2003
615 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226
By Associated Press
DETROIT—A state lawmaker on
Monday announced legislation that would repeal Michigan’s Gross Indecency
Law, which prohibits two men or two women from having sex.
State Rep. Steve Tobocman, D-Detroit, introduced the
legislation and other bills that would repeal laws which prohibit cursing,
blasphemy and cohabitation.
Sean Kosofsky, policy director of gay rights advocacy
group the Triangle Foundation in Detroit, said dozens of men are arrested a
year for gross indecency.
Gross indecency statutes punish adult, consensual,
noncommercial sex as a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Kosofsky
said that while most people charged under the law don’t typically serve jail
time, they pay high fees and are on the state sex offender registry.
“Most people believe these laws are silly and that
Michigan looks silly for maintaining them,” Kosofsky said.
The bills have been referred to the House Criminal
Justice Committee. Rep. William Van Regenmorter, a Republican from Ottawa
County’s Georgetown Township, is the chairman of the criminal justice
committee. He didn’t return a call Monday afternoon seeking comment about
whether the committee would take up the bills.
The bills to repeal gross indecency laws are House Bills
4614-15; the bills to repeal cursing and cohabitation laws are House bills
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