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Bill Would Decriminalize Homosexual Acts

February 25, 1998
By: Liz Cafer
State Capital Bureau
The House Civil Committee heard a bill that would repeal the law making homosexual acts a crime. Liz Cafer has the story in Jefferson City.

It's already on the lawbooks: homosexual intercourse is a crime in Missouri.

Discussion about a bill that would repeal that law soon turned into a debate over privacy rights.

Some lawmakers say that privacy is not stated as a Constitutional right, and that the U.S. Supreme Court considers laws against homosexual intercourse to be constitutional.

But the sponsor of the bill, Representative Tim VanZandt of Kansas City, says most citizens expect lawmakers to protect privacy.


[167K WAV file - Rep. Tim VanZandt]

"I just think it's a ludicrous place for government to be in. It just amazes me. I never thought I would stand here, see a large number of member of the legislature pounding on the theme that privacy rights are not protected."

Twenty states have laws that punish homosexual intercourse. In Jefferson City, I'm Liz Cafer for KMOX.