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Anti-Sodomy Law Overturned in Kentucky

September 25, 1992|From Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Supreme Court struck down the state's anti-sodomy law Thursday, ruling that it violates the constitutional rights of homosexuals.

"We need not sympathize, agree with or even understand the sexual preference of homosexuals in order to recognize their right to equal treatment before the bar of criminal justice," said the 4-3 opinion.

The court's dissenters said the ruling will promote homosexuality.

The law barred "deviate sexual intercourse with another person of the same sex." There is no Kentucky law against adultery, fornication or deviate sexual intercourse between heterosexuals.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Kentucky court joined its counterparts in New York and Pennsylvania in rulings that anti-sodomy laws violate privacy rights. Similar decisions have been returned by lower courts in Texas and Michigan. In 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Georgia's anti-sodomy law.

Dozens of groups and organizations lined up on both sides filed legal briefs in the Kentucky case.

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