10 Years After They Were Declared Unconstitutional, 14 States Still Have ‘Sodomy’ Laws

Ten years ago this June, the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ ban on “[d]eviate sexual intercourse” in Lawrence v. Texas, declaring in the process that the law may not criminalize non-commercial sexual activity between consenting adults. As Dana Liebelson reports, however, 14 states still have anti-sodomy laws on the books nearly a decade after the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional. These include four states — Montana, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas — which specifically outlaw gay sex, in addition to ten other states outlawing oral or anal sex between any two partners. In 2011, Tim Murphy mapped this out:

Last week, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) filed a brief seeking to keep Virginia’s so-called “crimes against nature” law on the books. Although he claims he’s doing so merely to allow prosecutions against adults having sex with children and similar crimes, he had the opportunity to vote for such a narrow and constitutional sex ban when he was a state lawmaker. Instead, he voted to keep Virginia’s broad and unconstitutional ban on the books.