Puerto Rican evangelists rally in support of sodomy law
July 14 2003 11:00 PM ET
Tens of thousands of Protestant evangelists skipped church services Sunday to crusade against Puerto Rico's elimination of a sodomy law. Top legislators want a Puerto Rican law banning gay sex, or "unnatural sex" between heterosexuals, taken off the books to comply with a recent U.S. Supreme
Court ruling, but church leaders want the law to remain. "The senate offended the church, and that's why we're here," said Angel Marcial, president of the Pentecostal Brotherhood, one of the main organizers of the event. "We're also here to affirm the morals of the family." The Supreme Court's 6-3 decision in June struck down a Texas law that made sodomy a crime. Before the ruling, Puerto Rico's senate approved a revision that would decriminalize sodomy. It has yet to go to the house.
Puerto Rico's Article 103, which dates back to 1902, carries a maximum 12-year prison sentence for "any person who has sexual relations with a person of the same sex or commits a crime against nature." Although no one has ever been prosecuted under the law, many interpret unnatural acts to include oral or anal sex, which don't lead to procreation. "We don't want sodomy for our people," said the Reverend Stephen Rios of Catano, on a slippery stage near the capitol's front steps. "We want Adam and Eve, not
Adam and Steve." Many signs in the crowd criticized the Supreme Court's ruling, including one
that said "The Supreme Court of the heavens says no to sin." Other signs said, "Say no to immorality and to sodomy." The president of the New Progressive Party, Carlos Pesquera, said if elected governor in 2004 elections, he would see that the sodomy provision remains on the books. The party supports making Puerto Rico the 51st U.S. state. "I'm showing my support for this movement," said Pesquera, holding his wife's hand. As long as the sodomy provision does not conflict with the Supreme Court
ruling, Pesquera said he wants to keep it in place.
- New Celeb Couple: Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley
- Op-ed: Straight Teen Girls Can Change the World
- Holiday Guide: Shop Here, Not There
- WATCH: Jared Leto on Avoiding Trans Character 'Cliché' for 'Dallas Buyers Club'
- Russia's High Court Declares 'Gay Propaganda' Ban Constitutional
- Bringing Diversity to the Digital Realm
- Entertainment News Bill Hader Wanted Stefon's Goodbye to Be Emotional 37 min 26 sec ago
- Women 13 Reasons to Let AHS: Coven Cast A Spell on You -- in GIFs 51 min ago
- Sports You Can Play and NFL Team Up With LGBT Youth 1 hour 49 min ago
- Entertainment News Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles Performs Parody of Joe Boxer Christmas Ad 1 hour 51 min ago
- Women WATCH: Sara Gilbert on the Pressure for People Like Maria Bello to Come Out 2 hours 10 min ago
- Women Ms. Fit: A Lesbian-Friendly, Feminist Fitness Mag for All Women 2 hours 40 min ago
- Women Who Was Broadway Producer and Lesbian Cheryl Crawford? 2 hours 45 min ago