Last edited: December 08, 2004

Legislative Activity Percolates Across The Nation

Washington Blade, April 23, 1999 (excerpt)

The following updates are part of the Blade's continuing coverage of bills in state legislatures around the country:

MISSOURI: A bill to expand the state's sodomy laws passed the House on April 7 by a vote of 139 to 6. It is currently in committee in the Senate. The bill would expand several types of sex crimes to include sexual acts involving contact between a person's genitals and another person's hand. Meanwhile, bills to repeal the portion of the state's sodomy law that bans "deviate sexual intercourse with a partner of the same sex" and to ban bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity remain inactive. A bill seeking to add sex, sexual orientation, and disability to the list of groups included in the state's 1998 hate crime law passed the Senate April 20 by a vote of 20-14. The bill's definition of sexual orientation includes "having a self-image or identity not traditionally associated with one's biological maleness or femaleness." Jeff Wunrow of the Privacy Rights Education Project said the bill's passage marked the first time either chamber or the state legislature had passed a pro-Gay law. The bill will die if it does not pass the House by the May 14 close of legislative session. A bill to reinstate the state's law banning recognition of same-sex marriages passed the Senate on March 1 and is now rocketing through the House. Wunrow said he expects the bill to ultimately pass the House without fanfare. The original law, passed in 1996, was thrown out by a state court along with a host of laws passed that session because of a procedural violation of the state constitution.

-- Kai Wright, Rhonda Smith, and Bill Roundy

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