Lawyer Expands Sodomy-Law Challenge With Straight Couple
Associated Press, March 2, 2001
RICHMOND A lawyer for 10 men convicted of
soliciting sex from undercover police officers in a Roanoke park is broadening
his challenge to Virginias sodomy statute, seeking to include an appeal
from a man convicted of sodomy with a woman in Frederick County.
"There seems to be a widespread misperception that sodomy is something
thats committed only by gay people, attorney Sam Garrison said.
"The overwhelming majority of violations of this statute every day and
every night in this commonwealth are committed by straight people.
In November, the Virginia Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of 10 men
arrested for soliciting sex in Wasena Park and rejected their attack on the
state law banning sodomy. The panel ruled that, because the men solicited sex
in a public place, they had no legal standing to contest Virginias law
making consensual oral sex a felony.
In January, the full appeals court refused to reconsider the panels
Garrison has filed for a hearing before the state Supreme Court, which has
yet to decide whether it will consider it. Garrisons latest filing on
Thursday asks the court to include the case of Fred Leslie Fisher, who was
convicted of sodomy with a woman in a Frederick County hotel room.
Garrison says the crimes against nature law improperly criminalizes all
acts of oral sex engaged in by consenting adults under any and all
circumstances, and claims it violates privacy rights and constitutional
protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
"In effect, this law makes every adult Virginian an unindicted felon,
Roanoke authorities have said that while the law technically applies to
everyone, they only use it to charge people who engage in sex in public
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