The Michigan Senate has passed a bill that effectively reaffirms the state's unconstitutional law making sodomy a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.BUT,,,
Michigan is one of more than a dozen states that still have sodomy bans on the books, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas declaring them unconstitutional.
Some states' sodomy laws specifically target gay relations, but Michigan's is among those that make oral and anal sex crimes illegal regardless of whether they're same-sex or different-sex. Michigan is also one of several states with a sodomy ban that's intertwined with a prohibition on bestiality – effectively equating the two. The law makes it a felony for anyone to commit "the abominable and detestable crime against nature with mankind or with any animal." If the person is already a sex offender, violations are punishable by life in prison.
As John Wright points out, there was a problem, "The language, which states sodomy is illegal, was kept intact in a bill designed to protect animals against abuse."
Last week, NCRM broke a story about the fact that Senate Bill 291, a bill that's part of a popular legislative package addressing animal cruelty called Logan's Law, also contained the states' unconstitutional law making oral and anal sex — both homosexual and heterosexual — a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The removal of the language from the bill won't necessarily remove the ban entirely but could be an important step toward it.
GOP Sen. Rick Jones, the author of SB 291, told NCRM in an exclusive interview that he chose not to remove the unconstitutional sodomy ban from the bill because he feared such a move could derail the entire measure. However, the Senate's 29-1 vote to pass the bill last Thursday, which also effectively reaffirmed the sodomy ban, quickly became national news after NCRM's reporting, prompted an outcry among LGBT advocates.
Over the weekend, the statewide LGBT group Equality Michigan said not removing the sodomy ban from the bill was "a missed opportunity," and said staff and board members were talking with lawmakers and legislative staff to discuss how the problem could be addressed in the House as the measure moves forward.Michigan Senate Passes Bill Saying Sodomy Is A Felony Punishable By 15 Years in Prison - The New Civil Rights Movement