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State legislator plans repeal of Missouri's sodomy law

November 11, 2003
By: Josh Hinkle
State Capital Bureau

Missouri is one of three states with a law that bans homosexual acts. Josh Hinkle has more on one legislator's idea to take this law off the books.

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In June, the U-S Supreme Court struck down a Texas law banning sodomy among same-sex couples.

Now, in compliance with the Court's decision, Missouri Representative Vicky Riback Wilson plans to sponsor legislation in the upcoming year that would make homosexual activity legal.

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Contents: "IF IT STAYS ON MISSOURI'S BOOKS, EVEN THOUGH IT'S AN INVALID LAW, IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE IF SOMEONE WANTED TO HARASS SOMEONE TO ARREST THEM UNDER MISSOURI LAW AND THEN THEY WOULD HAVE THE HASSLE OF GOING TO COURT"

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This isn't the first time Wilson has attempted to change the law... she sponosred an amendment, which was defeated in 1999, aimed at its repeal.

And now, advocates to repeal the law can only wait to see if Wilson is able to defeat the 147-year-old tradition.

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In June of this year, the U-S Supreme Court ruled that a Texas law banning sodomy among same-sex couples was unconstitutional. Josh Hinkle has more on one group's struggle to take Missouri's sodomy law off the books.

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Missouri is one of three states with a law that still bans homosexual acts.

A state gay rights group--PROMO--was founded in 19-86 specifically to repeal the law...and PROMO director Julie Brueggeman says the group wants the change to come soon.

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"WE'VE LOBBIED LEGISLATORS. WE'VE DONE OUTREACH AND EDUCATION TO THE COMMUNITY. WE'VE TALKED TO MEDIA OUTLETS. WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON THAT ISSUE FOR 16 YEARS, SO I WOULD SAY WE'VE DONE QUITE A BIT."

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Brueggemann's group is working with State Representative Vicky Riback Wilson to repeal the law.

Wilson plans to sponsor legislation in the upcoming year to make homosexual activity legal, in compliance with the Court's decision.

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Undercover police raided an adult video store last year outside of St. Louis. Josh Hinkle explains why one prosecutor dropped some charges against homosexuals under Missouri's sodomy laws.

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Missouri law bans homosexual acts... AND is the reason a group of Missouri men were arrested last year for engaging in such acts.

A June U-S Supreme Court decision declaring a similar Texas law unconstitutional has now forced Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wilkins to drop those charges.

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"SUBSEQUENT TO THIS SUPREME COURT DECISION, WE HAVE DISMISSED THE COUNT THAT ALLEGES THE HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVITY, SO THE ONLY THING THAT REMAINS IS THAT THEY ENGAGED IN SEXUAL CONTACT IN THE PRESENCE OF A THIRD PERSON UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES LIKELY TO CAUSE AFFRONT OR ALARM."

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State Representative Vicky Riback Wilson plans to sponsor legislation in the upcoming year to repeal the law, in compliance with the Court's decision.

Wilkins agrees the books must be changed because the Court's decision makes the Missouri's sodomy law constitutionally invalid.

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