Last edited: February 14, 2005

Minnesota Court Expands Sodomy Law Ruling

Datalounge, July 2, 2001

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — A Minnesota state judge ruled Monday that every adult in the state is covered under a recent decision that struck down as unconstitutional Minnesota’s prohibition on oral and anal sex.

State District Court Judge Delila F. Pierce struck down the sodomy law in late May. The ACLU, which brought the lawsuit, requested that the case be technically certified as a class action applicable to all Minnesotans. Quite unexpectedly, the state decided to stand in opposition to the motion, long considered little more than a legal formality.

The office of Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura released a statement in May agreeing with the decision reached by the court. "The judge’s action is consistent with the governor’s principle that there are certain things the government should not have a role in," Ventura spokesman John Wodele told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

But days later, the Ventura administration filed papers seeking to limit the ruling’s impact to the individuals named in the original suit.

The ACLU’s Leslie Cooper said the broad certification issued by Judge Delila made plain there were no exceptions to the law. "There can be no question now: Minnesota’s sodomy law has been struck down, and cannot be invoked anywhere in the state," she said.

"The sodomy law was declared unconstitutional — and the state had no good reason to say that it should be unconstitutional for some people, but not everyone," said another ACLU attorney, referring to the actions of Ventura’s office. "We’re pleased that the court agreed, and put this question to rest."

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