Last edited: April 16, 2005


Appeal Court Hears Arguments over Louisiana Sodomy Law, March 31, 2005

By The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—A gay rights lawyer told an appeals court Thursday that a Louisiana law is discriminatory because it allows the state to break up advocacy groups like his.

John Rawls, of the Louisiana Electorate for Gays and Lesbians, told three judges of the state 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that anytime an attorney general wants to, he can come along and haul his organization into court. The justices made no immediate ruling.

The panel said they would consider Rawls’ argument against the law and his claim against remaining parts of the so-called “crimes against nature” law forbidding human sex with animals, solicitation for oral and anal sex, and nonconsensual sex.

Thursday’s court argument has its origins in a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down anti-sodomy laws across the nation.

Last year, Judge Robert Murphy of Jefferson Parish followed the Supreme Court by striking down part of the “crimes against nature” law making it criminal for consenting adults to have oral or anal sex.

But he declined to strike down a law making the state attorney general’s office responsible for prosecuting homosexual groups as well as those promoting prostitution and narcotics.

Rawls wants the references to homosexuality struck from that law.

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