Sodomy Law Returns to Courts for Review of Scope
Associated Press, June 6, 2001
MINNEAPOLIS The Minnesota Civil Liberties Union
and state attorneys will debate in court Thursday whether a recent ruling on
Minnesotas sodomy law should be certified as a class action.
State District Court Judge Delila Pierce said in a May 18 ruling that the
states ban on oral sex and other intimacy between consenting adults was
unconstitutional because it violated the right of privacy guaranteed by the
Although the state court ruling should prevent the sodomy law from being
enforced anywhere in Minnesota, the MnCLU wants the court to technically
classify the case as a class action. MnCLU attorney Teresa Nelson said that
would leave "absolutely no uncertainty" that the law cannot be
But Attorney General Mike Hatch said in a court memorandum that the case
would not qualify for class-action status because most Minnesotans will not
suffer the same penalties as the seven plaintiffs in the original lawsuit.
The plaintiffs were a group of gay and straight Minnesotans whose jobs,
homes or relationships with their children were threatened by the sodomy law.
Hatch said if MnCLU officials were concerned that people beyond the seven
plaintiffs wouldnt be covered, they should amend the complaint to name all
city and county attorneys as defendants.
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