Last edited: February 12, 2005


Bill Would Repeal Gross Indecency Law

Detroit News, May 5, 2003
615 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226
Fax: 313-222-6417

By Associated Press

DETROIT—A state lawmaker on Monday announced legislation that would repeal Michigan’s Gross Indecency Law, which prohibits two men or two women from having sex.

State Rep. Steve Tobocman, D-Detroit, introduced the legislation and other bills that would repeal laws which prohibit cursing, blasphemy and cohabitation.

Sean Kosofsky, policy director of gay rights advocacy group the Triangle Foundation in Detroit, said dozens of men are arrested a year for gross indecency.

Gross indecency statutes punish adult, consensual, noncommercial sex as a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Kosofsky said that while most people charged under the law don’t typically serve jail time, they pay high fees and are on the state sex offender registry.

“Most people believe these laws are silly and that Michigan looks silly for maintaining them,” Kosofsky said.

The bills have been referred to the House Criminal Justice Committee. Rep. William Van Regenmorter, a Republican from Ottawa County’s Georgetown Township, is the chairman of the criminal justice committee. He didn’t return a call Monday afternoon seeking comment about whether the committee would take up the bills.

The bills to repeal gross indecency laws are House Bills 4614-15; the bills to repeal cursing and cohabitation laws are House bills 4616-17.

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