14 states in U.S., like 76-plus countries, hold onto anti-gay laws

The United States isn’t one of the 76-plus countries with laws against homosexual behavior, is it?  Well, yes, in a sense it is, as Slate’s XX Factor blog and The Advocate point out.

Fourteen states have kept anti-sodomy laws on the books, even after the U.S. Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional in 2003.

Conservative state legislators refuse to repeal them and, in some cases, police still enforce them.

The most recent arrest was in Louisiana last month [July 2013] after a police sting lured a man into proposing private, consensual sex with an undercover police officer.  In all, at least a dozen people have been arrested under that defunct law since 2011. The local prosecutor refuses to pursue the charges against the men, because the law has been declared unconstitutional.

The 14 states are Kentucky, plus the 13 listed by Mother Jones: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina,  Texas, Utah and Virginia.  Montana was among those states until it repealed its anti-sodomy law this year.

This article was updated in April 2016 to add Kentucky, which somehow had been missed in previous accounts.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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  1. Kentucky also has an an unenforced criminal law against sodomy. It Sodomy in the 4th degree, KRS 510.100. It was ruled unconstitutional by a state court years ago but continues to be on the books.

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