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Alabama Gay Sex Ban Overturned, Ruled Unconstitutional

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An appeals court in Alabama has ruled that the Alabama law criminalizing consensual homosexual conduct is unconstitutional, as it “applies to private, legitimately consensual anal and oral sex between unmarried persons.” Civil rights organizations cheered the state appeals court for the ruling.

Based on the statute, consensual anal and oral sex was banned, as the court ruled that they were acts that criminalized homosexual activities. The Human Rights Campaign conducted a survey and said the results stated that Alabama is one of the dozen states that still have laws that prohibit consensual homosexual sex.

Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, Susan Watson, said, “Aiming to ban consensual sex is flat out wrong. A person’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter. Consensual sex is consensual sex.”
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The state attorney general’s office brought the case to the court after a prosecutor was unsuccessful in persuading the jury to convict a defendant on a felony charge of first-degree sodomy. In that case, the jury convicted the defendant on a lesser charge, which was sexual misconduct.

On Monday, Michael Jackson, the prosecutor in the sodomy case, said that he understood why the ruling of the appeals court turned out that way. However, he also said that the victim was not brought to justice, since “he got attacked by another man and he had sex he didn’t want to have.”

Chairman Ben Cooper of Equality Alabama was also in favor of the ruling. “Each and every person, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, is entitled to equal protection under the law,” he said. He also continued that the ruling is a step towards the right direction.

According to the judges, it was the first time that the law’s constitutionality had been addressed since the United States Supreme Court overturned a similar law in Texas in 2003.
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Image via Wikimedia Commons

Alabama Gay Sex Ban Overturned, Ruled Unconstitutional
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