Court: Alabama Can't Criminalize Gay Sex

Law said consent was 'no defense to prosecution'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 17, 2014 8:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – An Alabama appeals court has ruled the state's ban on consensual gay sex is unconstitutional. The measure banned oral and anal sex, adding that "consent is no defense to a prosecution under this subdivision"; in a unanimous ruling, judges said the law was aimed at banning gay sex, KSDK reports. The American Civil Liberties Union applauded the decision. "Aiming to ban consensual sex is flat out wrong," says its executive director. "A person's sexual orientation shouldn't matter."

The case at hand involved an Alabama man convicted of sexual misconduct in 2010. Dewayne Williams said he'd had consensual anal sex. Though the prosecutor said he understood the new ruling, he said the alleged victim in the case "got attacked by another man and he had sex he didn't want to have." The constitutionality of the law hadn't been taken on since 2003, when the US Supreme Court rejected a comparable law in Texas, judges said, per the AP.

An Alabama court has rejected a law banning consensual gay sex.
An Alabama court has rejected a law banning consensual gay sex.   (Shutterstock)
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