Sodomy Remains Illegal In Utah
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: March 6, 2007 - 12:01 am ET
(Salt Lake City, Utah) Utah lawmakers are
refusing to remove a law banning sodomy for all but married opposite-sex couples
even though the Supreme Court struck down similar laws in 2003.
The legislature ended its sitting without
considering a bill to repeal the law. The attempt was made by state Sen. Scott
McCoy (D), the only gay member of the Utah Senate.
McCoy attached the repeal effort as an amendment
to another bill. It was removed by the Republican leadership. The GOP
majority refused to allow either debate or public hearings.
McCoy and other critics of the sodomy law say the
state is repudiating unmarried couples - especially gays.
"There is a stigma. I think that stigma is intentional on the
state of Utah's part," civil rights attorney Brian Barnard told the
Barnard has tried for
more than a decade to get courts to overturn the law.
Senate Majority Leader Curt Bramble (R) said he was flabbergasted when
it was suggested the law should be repealed. Like most members of the Utah
legislature he is a member of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which considers
homosexuality a sin.
Although the sodomy law has rarely been enforced in Utah courts have
consistently refused to hear challenges to the law by Barnard.
Still, with the law remaining on the books police have an obligation to enforce
it Barnard said.
That, according to Barnard could result in months of embarrassment for someone charged with
the crime before it is found unconstitutional.
In June, 2003 The US Supreme Court ruled in
Lawrence v Texas that states cannot make laws regarding the private sexual