Last edited: February 14, 2005

Minnesota Sodomy Law Repealed

The Advocate, September 5, 2001

The Minnesota attorney general’s office will not appeal a district court judge’s ruling that every adult in Minnesota is covered under her recent decision that the state’s sodomy law is unconstitutional. The deadline to appeal was Friday. "Because of the nonappeal, it’s over," said Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union, which helped start the lawsuit challenging the state’s sodomy law. Hennepin County district court judge Delila Pierce ruled in May that the state’s ban on oral sex and other intimacy between consenting adults violates privacy rights under the state constitution. Alan Gilbert, chief deputy attorney general, said his staff consulted with Gov. Jesse Ventura’s office and decided an appeal would be "lacking in merit." "We just think the legal principles of the court are soundly based," Gilbert said. Critics say Attorney General Mike Hatch failed to do his public duty by not appealing. "When the laws of the state are being attacked, he should defend them, and he should defend them to the end," said attorney Greg Wersal, who helped lead an unsuccessful bid to recall Hatch on claims that his defense of the sodomy law was inadequate.

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