Minnesota Court Expands Sodomy Law Ruling
July 2, 2001
MINNEAPOLIS, MN A Minnesota state judge ruled
Monday that every adult in the state is covered under a recent decision that
struck down as unconstitutional Minnesotas prohibition on oral and anal
State District Court Judge Delila F. Pierce struck down the sodomy law in
late May. The ACLU, which brought the lawsuit, requested that the case be
technically certified as a class action applicable to all Minnesotans. Quite
unexpectedly, the state decided to stand in opposition to the motion, long
considered little more than a legal formality.
The office of Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura released a statement in May
agreeing with the decision reached by the court. "The judges action is
consistent with the governors principle that there are certain things the
government should not have a role in," Ventura spokesman John Wodele told
the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.
But days later, the Ventura administration filed papers seeking to limit
the rulings impact to the individuals named in the original suit.
The ACLUs Leslie Cooper said the broad certification issued by Judge
Delila made plain there were no exceptions to the law. "There can be no
question now: Minnesotas sodomy law has been struck down, and cannot be
invoked anywhere in the state," she said.
"The sodomy law was declared unconstitutional and the state had no
good reason to say that it should be unconstitutional for some people, but not
everyone," said another ACLU attorney, referring to the actions of
Venturas office. "Were pleased that the court agreed, and put this
question to rest."
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