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A bill aiming to do away with an unenforceable sodomy law that brought out a wave of homophobia from members of Montana's house judiciary committee was defeated today.
The state supreme court ruled in 1996 that a law criminalizing homosexual acts was unconstitutional. However, the law remained on Montana's books, even after the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down all remaining state sodomy laws. On Wednesday, Sen. Tom Facey presented the house with a bill that sought to bring the state's criminal code into compliance with the 15-year-old ruling; it had already been passed by the state senate.
That bill was defeated in committee this morning.
Equally disturbing is news of the way some committee members reacted when the bill was introduced. According to the Montana Capitol Report, "Throughout the hearing, GOP members constantly equated homosexuality with bestiality and pedophilia. In fact, one opposing witness of the bill went so far as to say all pedophiles are either gay or bisexual."
Rep. Bob Wagner even posed a series of questions intended to imply that all gay men are infected with HIV and relying on state assistance for their medical care.
Some members said this hearing was the most disgusting one they've ever attended.
Read more here.