Sodomy Ruling Applies to Every Adult in Minnesota
Newscenter, July 3, 2001
Minneapolis, MN A state judge Monday ruled that
every adult in the state is covered under a recent decision that struck down
as unconstitutional Minnesotas prohibition on oral and anal sex.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit challenging
the sodomy statute, had asked State District Court Judge Delila F. Pierce to
technically certify her earlier ruling as a class action, so there would be no
uncertainty about its impact. The state opposed this at a hearing last month.
"There can be no question now: Minnesotas sodomy law has been
struck down, and cannot be invoked anywhere in the state," said ACLU
Lesbian & Gay Rights Project staff attorney Leslie Cooper, who worked on
the case with lawyers from the ACLUs Minnesota state affiliate.
NGLTF Executive Director Lorri L. Jean said. "For centuries, sodomy
laws have been used as a weapon against the gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender community, sometimes with very tragic results."
Pierces initial ruling, handed down in May, struck down the sodomy law
as it applied to private, consensual, non-commercial intimacy.
Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, a defendant in the case along with the
attorney general and the state itself, agreed on the day the ruling was
released. "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 just days later, the state filed legal papers seeking to limit the
"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," Samuelson said. "Were pleased that the court agreed,
and put this question to rest."
Four states Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri have sodomy laws
that single out same-sex relationships, although Missouris law has been
struck down by a lower court. 11 other states have sodomy laws that outlaw
some forms of both heterosexual and homosexual activity.
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