Last edited: May 01, 2004

Puerto Rico Moves to Abolish Sodomy Law, June 24, 2003

By Newscenter Staff

San Juan, Puerto Rico—Puerto Rico’s Senate has passed a new penal code which abolishes the crime of sodomy. The bill has yet to be voted on by the House.

Gay activists had fought for more than a decade to have the law wiped from the books, saying it was discriminatory because it only targeted gay men.

The new penal code was two years in the making, finally passing a key committee earlier this month. The sodomy issue was contentious with considerable pressure from the Catholic Church on the island calling for the law to remain in place.

Its fate was sealed though when the majority leader in the Senate declared that the existing law was unenforceable.

The vote came days before the US Supreme Court is to deliver its ruling on the Texas sodomy law. If the court strikes down the law, 13 states, including Texas will be affected.

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