Last edited: November 15, 2003

Dusting the Books

Arizona House Votes to Repeal Adultery, Sodomy Laws

Frontiers, April 30, 1999
7985 Santa Monica Blvd. #109, West Hollywood, CA 90046

The Arizona state House voted April 22 to repeal laws against adultery, cohabitation and sodomy, which members called "archaic and silly." The same day, they also voted to extend the protection of domestic violence laws to people of the same-sex who live together. The votes were a victory for the two openly gay state representatives, Republican Steve May and Democrat Ken Cheuvront, who sponsored the amendments. Moderate Republicans joined Democrats in supporting both measures. "It’s a great day for freedom in Arizona," May said.

May’s celebration could be short-lived, however. The bill (SB1396) – a larger measure including several changes to Arizona’s criminal laws – will likely go to a joint House-Senate panel to work out differences between the two versions of the measure.

That committee is likely to be dominated by social conservatives who oppose the new provisions.

May sponsored an amendment that would repeal state laws against adultery, cohabitation, "infamous crimes against nature" and "lewd and lascivious acts." Cheuvront said the latter two laws outlaw "basically any form of sex except intercourse in the missionary position."

All four laws are misdemeanors and haven’t been enforced for 30 years, Cheuvront said.

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