Last edited: February 14, 2005

Harry M. Singleton's Testimony for Sodomy Law Reform

Statement of Harry M. Singleton
A Citizen of the District of Columbia
Submitted to the Council of The District of Columbia
Judiciary Committee

January 29, 1993

Mr. Chairman and members of the Judiciary Committee, because of a previous commitment I could not be present today to express my support for the Right To Privacy Amendment Act of 1993. In my capacity as a private citizen of the District of Columbia, I do want to go on record as supporting this important legislation and seek unanimous consent that my statement be made a part of the hearing record.

While I wear a number of "representational hats" in the community, I voice my support for this legislation as a private citizen concerned about the threat of intrusive government into the most private affairs of our lives. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms is not and should not be a concern of government. I for one have long believed as part of my political beliefs that the freedom of the individual in our democratic society is almost sacrosanct. When government imposes itself into the most private areas of our lives and impinges on that freedom, it is time to act.

The right to privacy amendment act of 1993 Is legislation which is long overdue. What this legislation will do is to take private, consensual, non-commercial acts relating to sexual activity between adults out of the sphere of government control and regulation—as it should be in a free society where the role of government is limited. The prohibition on sodmitic acts as acts of prostitution, violence, and involvement with persons below the legal age of consent will be retained and will be continued to be controlled by government to protect us—as it should be in a free society where the role of government is limited.

No one should oppose this legislation who values the concept of the freedom of the individual and who fears the concept of big Government dictating our every move. While i understand that there Some who are blinded by the false issue of "encouraging or Sanctioning an alternative lifestyle", And, as a result, Oppose This Legislation, We should be clear What this Legislation is about.

This legislation has nothing to do with encouraging or sanctioning a lifestyle which some may find repugnant. The sodomy laws on the books today apply to everyone—gay and straight, married and single. Although members of the gay community often have been singled out unfairly for selective enforcement of the law, the sodomy law can be and has been applied to the heterosexual community as well. No one, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be subjected to government intrusion into their most private affairs.

Whatever issues of personal morality which are in debate among the various segments of our society, They remain unaddressed by this legislation. Whatever the groups, be they secular religious, which seek to regulate the sexual behavior of our citizens, they cannot seriously propose putting people in jail to re-engineer the world to suit their own beliefs or their liking. No matter how much certain groups object to the private behavior of others, they constantly must bear in mind that there is a limit upon how much government can be used to achieve their objectives.

The sodomy law on the books today is archaic in its present form. The right to privacy amendment act of 1993 will correct that problem and make private, consensual, non-commercial acts relating to sexual activity between adults what they should be—matters within the sphere of control of the private individual. For those, reasons I urge the members of this committee to act favorably on this legislation.

Thank you.

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