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Why Montana Won’t Yank The State’s ‘No Gay Sex’ Law Off Its Books

Rather than update its state law books to reflect the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v Texas decision or the Montana Supreme Court’s own 1997 decision in Gryczan v. State of Montana to strike down Montana’s sodomy laws (which carried a $50,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison), lawmakers in the state House instead blocked a bill that would’ve removed the language from state law. The Senate already passed its version of the bill. Why such opposition? Because according to House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Ken Peterson, a Republican attorney, the Supreme Court didn’t find the law unconstitutional, just that what adults do in their own bedrooms is protected by their right to privacy. The law, says Peterson, “should not be repealed because of situations it might apply in.”

By:           JD
On:           Mar 30, 2011
Tagged: , ,
  • 14 Comments
    • Yusuf
      Yusuf

      This is also my question why it’s happening?

      Mar 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      What situations could it apply in? Honestly.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      YOU say the Supreme court didn’t find it unconstitutional. The Supreme Court says it did. Guess who wins?

      Mar 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      I think that whole reputation of being the Brokeback Mountain state has started to mess with their heads.

      Is HRC or ACLU involved I wonder? Imma go do some research….

      Mar 30, 2011 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      “The present case does not involve minors. It does not involve persons who might be injured or coerced or who are situated in relationships where consent might not easily be refused. It does not involve public conduct or prostitution. It does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter. The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle. The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. “It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.” Casey, supra, at 847. The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual.
      Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)

      Mar 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jared
      Jared

      People, relax. It is meaningless that this law is still “on the books.” It’s unconstitutional under Lawrence and that’s the end of it.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 4 · Jeffree wrote, “I think that whole reputation of being the Brokeback Mountain state has started to mess with their heads.”

      Brokeback Mountain was supposed to be in Wyoming. Maybe the legislators didn’t pay attention.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      Oops, B! I goofed….!

      Mar 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fighting Back
      Fighting Back

      Federal Law supersedes state law – so guess what Montana…….you can’t have it your way!! Why is it that individual states still think that they can just ignore Federally ruled cases?

      Mar 30, 2011 at 11:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim Hlavac
      Jim Hlavac

      @Jared: It’s not meaningless in our case. This is not like a “can’t ride a horse on Sunday” law. By staying on the books our most difficult opponents will argue it’s the law, and they’ll use the logic proffered — “it’s useful in some situations” and they’ll use it to stop DOMA repeal, and mini-DOMA repeals. They’ll use it in every amicus brief they file against us. Judges will refer to it, as the “intent of the legislature” even if blocked by the US Supreme Court. And it’ll be used against us in numerous other ways, and the most ignorant among the ignorant will use the law to stop anything for us anywhere. No, this law must go. It’s not garden variety. But a useful tool by morons to beat us with. Which is why it’s being kept — to stomp on gay folks. Even the figurative existence of the law will be used to stomp us. No, it must go.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 12:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      It is sad that politicians continue violating the human rights of hundreds of millions of people and yet still expect to maintain respect for the rule of law. Such corruption is pathetic in the 21st century.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 3:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pete ORD
      Pete ORD

      Problem is, it’s barely the 20th century in Montana…

      Mar 31, 2011 at 7:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      @Pete ORD: Well, they need to hurry up and get with the times. They only have 52 years before the Warp Drive is supposed to be invented there.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jay_max
      jay_max

      @Pete ORD: The repeal bill passed the state Senate, and the governor is a centrist Democrat who would have signed it. It got tripped up by a cadre of radical repubs in the state House.

      Please don’t rip on my home state. They can be and are progressive in a lot of different ways, and the bigger cities, like anywhere, are passing ordinances protecting gays and lesbians. At least they’re not Indiana.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 10:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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