From: Harvey Newstrom (mail@HarveyNewstrom.com)
Date: Thu Jan 17 2002 - 20:08:55 MST
Samantha Atkins wrote,
> I don't think it is accurate to say gay dating or sex is illegal
> in most US states. A handful of states still have sodomy laws
> they selectively enforce.
OK, I just checked this at a law site. Only 17/50 U.S. states still have
such laws on the books. That's one-third instead of "most".
In the state of Florida, where I live, gay sex violates sodomy laws. Our
laws don't even let married heterosexual couples engage in sodomy. Not only
is this type of sex illegal, but soliciting illegal sex violates
solicitation laws. Thus, asking for gay sex or for a gay date that might
include sex is illegal. Loitering for illicit purposes includes looking for
partners for illegal sexual activities. Thus, waiting around for a possible
gay date to show up is also illegal.
These laws are alive and well. Florida forbids unmarried adults from
sharing a hotel room. The tourism council tried to get this reversed a few
years ago, but failed. We just had a controversy where Jeb Bush's son was
caught by police violating the sodomy laws with a female. Since he was not
charged by police, gay rights activists asked Jeb to pardon gays in jail for
breaking the same law. This never happened.
I know most of these laws seem like something out of the 1800's, but most of
them have never been officially repealed. When repeals are attempted, the
religious right objects to the repeal. Even if the law isn't enforced, most
lawmakers don't want to appear to be encouraging unmarried sexual behavior,
so they don't vote for the repeals.
I concede that most gays ignore these laws with no consequences, but there
are gays in jail for nothing more than having gay sex or soliciting for gay
Check out <http://www.sodomylaws.org/> for more details on these laws. The
penalties range from life imprisonment, 20 years, 15 years, 10 years, 5
years, 6 months, 60 days, and a $500 fine. By the way, my state's example
above have the most lenient laws with only 60 days in jail or a $500 fine.
-- Harvey Newstrom, CISSP <www.HarveyNewstrom.com> Principal Security Consultant, Newstaff Inc. <www.Newstaff.com> Board of Directors, Extropy Institute <www.Extropy.org> Cofounder, Pro-Act <www.ProgressAction.org>
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