Last edited: December 05, 2004

Letter: Repeal the Law

Winston-Salem Journal, March 23, 2001
Box 3159, Winston-Salem, NC 27102-3159
Fax: 336-727-7315

Thank you for your support of the Sexual Privacy Act, which would reform the state’s crimes against nature law so it would not apply if the act occurs between consenting adults in private ("Not Public’s Business," March 8). The amendment would not apply to sex for hire. [In other words, it would remain in effect for prostitutes.]

The problem with the existing law is not just discrimination by landlords. The problem instead is that violating the Crime Against Nature law is a felony, and the existence of the law has been used to conclude that all homosexuals are felons.

While the law also applies to acts between heterosexuals, it mostly has been used against homosexuals. Under the law, some homosexuals have been arrested simply for going to the police to report a property crime or an assault. It is at the heart of the fear by homosexuals to report hate crimes to the police.

The existence of the law has been used to preclude a gay or lesbian couple from raising children. It has been used to take away visitation rights by a gay man or lesbian after a divorce.

Many gay men and lesbians attempt marriage because they have been taught that it is the right thing to do, only to realize after 10 or 15 years that it really can’t work. It is a leading, but hidden, cause for divorce.

Most states have repealed crime against nature laws. It is time for North Carolina to do the same.

— Robert Conn, Winston-Salem

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