Last edited: February 14, 2005

Testimony Before The Council of The District of Columbia Regarding the Repeal of Sodomy Laws

By The Rev. Larry J. Uhrlg, Pastor
The Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C.
474 Ridge Street N.W. 20001
(202) 838-7373

I speak to you today as the representative of hundreds of members of our faith community, The Metropolitan Community Church of Washington. Our members represent the wide diversity of the population of our city. They are young and old, Black, White, and Hispanic. They are multi-lingual, multi-cultural, male and female, homosexual, and heterosexual.

As a pastor and spiritual leader in this community for sixteen years I am here to urge you to repeal the sodomy laws of this city. Why? Because they are archaic and unenforceable in any equitable and just manner. The overriding reason I speak in favor of repeal is that no government has the right to invade the privacy of its citizens. What occurs in private between consenting adults should remain just that, private, and not the concern of government at any level. .

The law must serve justice and honor individual freedom. It must not become the vehicle of partisan, biased, or moralistic agencies.

No doubt the vast majority of the citizens of our city have transgressed these sodomy laws. It is clear to me that continued existence of these laws serve only as a thinly veiled attempt to justify the harassment of minority peoples.

The selective enforcement of sodomy laws serves to perpetuate injustice and the abuse of the civil liberties of gay people. Those who argue to retain such legislation are surly guilty of transgressing these same laws.

It is time for the city of Washington to once again take the lead in showing the nation a model of justice and equality, under law, which upholds the rights and essential dignity of every citizen.

These laws must go. They serve no valuable purpose for the city or its citizens. As a long time resident of Washington I testify to you that I am guilty of transgressing the sodomy law. How many of you who must sit in judgment on this issue are likewise guilty? I urge you to act and to act now to bring our laws into the twentieth century. I wish to thank the members of the Council for this opportunity to speak and for holding these hearings.

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