ACLU Fighting Nevada Law That Makes Sex Between Gay Teens A “Crime Against Nature”

logoThe American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada has joined the National ACLU’s LGBT and AIDS Project to file a civil-rights lawsuit that could overturn a state law that criminalizes consensual encounters between same-sex teenagers, but not opposite-sex couples.

Nevada’s age of consent in 16, but the law dictates that sex between two minors under 18 is an “infamous crime against nature”  if the two parties are of the same sex.

As used in this section, the “infamous crime against nature” means anal intercourse, cunnilingus or fellatio between natural persons of the same sex. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the infamous crime against nature.

It carries a possible five-year prison sentence.

The ACLU, which filed the suit on behalf of a “John Doe” client, maintains the law violates the Right to Equal Protection guaranteed in the 14th Amendment.

“Elko County prosecutors used the law to prosecute a minor for a consensual sexual relationship with another teenager even though both of them were above the age of consent,” said Staci Pratt, Legal Director for the ACLU of Nevada. “If the couple had been a boy and a girl rather than two boys, their conduct would not have been a crime.”

The teen was arrested last year on juvenile felony charges and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Pratt says the case underscored “the necessity of removing this discriminatory, homophobic relic from our statute books.”

The statute, enacted in 1979, remains on the books even though Nevada repealed laws against “crimes against nature” between consenting adults back in 1993 and the Supreme Court rule sodomy laws unconstitutional in 2003.

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  • Dakotahgeo

    Another American christian Taliban conservative is behind this disgrace of justice! The only way these people learn is with a lawsuit. Rathe pathetic, eh? Get to the 21st century, folks!

  • Dakotahgeo

    Correction: rather* pathetic….

  • Caleb in SC

    The Supreme Court has already struck down sodomy laws as being unconstitutional. Changing the age to minors does not change the analysis.

  • Mark

    Question, why are laws like this one not automatically repealed when the supreme court rules them unconstitutional? Shouldnt any supreme court ruling be followed by a judicial review of conflicting laws? It seems to me that doing so would save a lot of court time.

  • gppm1103

    The only place in Nevada that is not overrun with Mormons is the strip in Las Vegas and the gambling area of Reno.

    They are pathetic remnants of the early settlers.

  • viveutvivas

    How does the U.S. legal system work when prosecutors are applying laws that have already been invalidated by the Supreme Court, as this one presumably (indirectly) has. Could someone who knows from law explain it?


    I am surprised that the same state where Las Vegas–and everything associated with it–has this law. Perhaps the rest of the state isn’t as liberal?

  • Dionte

    How can anyone prove they had sex, wouldn’t that be like watching child porn.

  • Harley

    It all goes to prove that the Christian Taliban is identical to Iran. Im sure a public execution is in order in Las Vegas. That way Iran will rethink their position on the US. Conservative America is close to Iranian dictators. Or at least send their martyrs to Vegas to sow some wild oats before hijacking airplanes, you know, like 9-11.

  • Billysees

    Here’s something that may be fitting to this article.

    It’s really amazing, but the US military has boldly and unabashedly defined certain things that have considerable impact on many.

    Check out page 24 especially —

  • Billysees

    What about the police officer or officers that made the arrest ?

    What prompted or encouraged them to do this ?

Comments are closed.