Strange argument: Ruling on gay sex ban leaves Alabamians ‘less protected from nonconsensual sex’

Jun 19, 2014
Legal
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Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange today argued the state should challenge the recent ruling striking down Alabama’s gay sex ban.

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The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals held that the state’s sexual misconduct law is unconstitutional as it criminalizes private consensual acts.

Strange wants the appeals court to leave the law, code section 13A-6-65, in place to deal with nonconsensual sex acts.

The law had criminalized “deviate sexual intercourse,” defined as anal and oral sex, and said “consent is no defense.”

In its unanimous ruling the appeals court cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence vs. Texas. In that 2003 case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a Texas law barring same-sex intimate contact was unconstitutional. The high court said there was no “legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual.”

The state appeals court pointed out the legislative commentary for the statute says the consent section “was changed by the legislature to make all homosexual conduct criminal, and consent is no defense.”

The appeals court ruling came in a Dallas County case, Williams vs. Alabama.  A Dallas County man appealed after being convicted of sexual misconduct, even though the jury found the homosexual sexual encounter was consensual.

But Strange argues the court went too far.

Read more on this Strange argument…

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