Texas May Finally Repeal Sodomy Law

The repeal would come 10 years after the law was declared unconstitutional. Several other states still have sodomy laws on the books as well.

BY Trudy Ring

April 17 2013 6:51 PM ET

Texas state senator Jose Rodriguez

Ten years after Texas’s sodomy law was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, the statute may finally be repealed.

State senator Jose Rodriguez was expected to present his repeal bill to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee today, the Associated Press reports. The Supreme Court struck down the law, along with sodomy laws in other states, in its landmark 2003 ruling Lawrence v. Texas, but the Texas legislature has so far resisted attempts to take it off the books. Rodriguez has urged lawmakers to respect the decision and LGBT rights by repealing the law, which is specific to gays.

Montana legislators recently repealed that state’s gay-specific sodomy law, with a bill that the governor is expected to sign Thursday, and a federal court declined Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli’s request to uphold his state’s sodomy law, which applies to everyone. A total of 17 states still have sodomy laws, with Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas having statutes that apply to gays only, and some of the states seek to enforce these laws despite the Lawrence v. Texas ruling. Read the Washington Blade’s analysis of the situation here.

Tags: Politics

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