Last edited: December 05, 2004

Lawmaker: U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Invalidates Michigan Law

Associated Press, June 26, 2003

LANSING, Mich.—The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a ban on gay sex in Texas invalidates a similar law in Michigan, a state lawmaker and gay rights advocates said Thursday.

Michigan’s law prohibits even married couples from certain sex acts.

The 1931 anti-sodomy law requires a maximum 15 years in prison for a person convicted of a felony for “the abominable and detestable crime against nature either with mankind or with any animal.”

State Rep. Leon Drolet, a conservative Republican from Macomb County’s Clinton Township, is working on legislation that would repeal the state law.

Drolet said some of his colleagues in the Legislature are skittish about supporting his bill because they see it as a gay rights issue.

“It is perceived as friendly toward people who are gay,” he said. “But people, I think, across the board agree that government doesn’t belong in the bedroom.”

Drolet said his support of repealing the anti-sodomy law doesn’t go against his reputation as one of the most conservative House Republicans. He said it follows his campaign promise to reduce the size and scope of government.

Sean Kosofsky, policy director of gay rights advocacy group the Triangle Foundation in Detroit, said Michigan is one of 14 states that have laws similar to the one in Texas that was ruled unconstitutional on Thursday.

Kosofsky said it’s important that state lawmakers repeal the law although it was invalidated by the high court decision and it isn’t used often.

“It’s embarrassing to Michigan to have this law on the books,” he said.

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