Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004 Page: 22 of 72
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\ ii^pnia Senate kills plan to
wipe sodomy law from books
House sought to replace law with one saying sodomy illegal in public;
Senate panel rejects plan, saying some portions of old law still useable
By Justin Bergman Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia's anti-sodomy
law will remain on the books for at least another
year as a Senate panel rejected a bill Monday to
decriminalize sodomy in private settings.
Del. David Albo's bill sought to rewrite
Virginia's law in response to the U.S. Supreme
Court decision last June in Lawrence v. Texas,
which struck down the anti-sodomy law in
Albo's bill stopped short of repealing
Virginia's existing "crimes against nature" law,
but proposed a new statute specifying that such
behavior is illegal when committed in a public
But the Senate Courts of Justice Committee
voted 10-5 to kill the legislation, with
Republican members saying the law could still
be partially applied as written.
Albo, who also serves as chairman of the state
Crime Commission, said afterward the commit-
tee's action leaves Virginia open to a constitu-
tional challenge similar to the one in Texas.
"The first person who gets charged with this
and hires a decent attorney, that's where we'll be
going," said Albo, R-Fairfax County.
The Senate panel last month passed a similar
bill submitted by Sen. Patricia Ticer, D-
Alexandria, that would have decriminalized
sodomy in private settings and lowered the
penalties for sodomy in public places. However,
the full Senate sent the legislation back to com-
mittee, where it was defeated.
Sioux City protesters demand city add
gays to anti-discrimination ordinance
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Gay rights
activists have taken their protest to City Hall
against the City Council's decision not to add
sexual orientation to an existing anti-discrimina-
More than 20 people — gay and straight men
and women of various ages — picketed outside
City Hall on Monday while the City Council met
They said protecting gays and lesbians from
discrimination is a human rights issue, not a gay
"This is more of a response to the council's
decision. A lot of people felt that they needed to
speak up, because people don't agree
with their decision," said protester Jason Moore.
Two weeks ago, the council voted 4-1 to deny
a move to add sexual orientation as a protected
class in the city's anti-discrimination ordinance.
The ordinance punishes discrimination in
employment, housing and public accommoda-
The City Council did not discuss the issue at
Monday's meeting, but the protesters were hop-
ing to get the issue back on the council's agenda
Continued from Page 1
The two had paid $28 for a marriage license
on Friday and waited the requisite 72 hours,
according to Laura Jewell, a spokeswoman for
City Clerk Dawn Tomek.
Monday's wedding was the first lesbian or gay
marriage ceremony ever performed in New
Six other applications for same-sex weddings
are pending, city officials said. No ceremonies
were scheduled for Tuesday, since couples who
are issued a license must wait 72 hours before
they can be married.
If a court tells the city to stop, the clerk will not
issue more licenses, said Kate Mellina, a member
of the Asbury Park City Council. City officials,
who had been "flooded by requests for mar-
riages," did not think state law specifically barred
same-sex marriages, she said.
"When we get an official opinion, we'll know
what the official opinion is," said Mellina, who
attended the wedding.
"It was just a very private, wonderful ceremo-
ny. It was just a marriage," the city council-
After learning of Monday's ceremony, Gov.
James E. McGreevey asked the attorney general
to determine if city officials broke the law by
issuing the marriage licenses, and, if so, to take
appropriate action, McGreevey spokesman
Micah Rasmussen said.
"It's a legal question, not a political or policy
one," Rasmussen said.
On Nov. 5, the Law Division of New Jersey
Superior Court held that New Jersey's marriage
statutes do not permit same-sex marriages.
Nothing in the state constitution guarantees
same-sex unions as a right, and the appropriate
forum to change marriage laws is the Legislature,
the judge ruled.
The ruling is being appealed by gay activists,
including Lambda Legal Defense and Education
McGreevey supports domestic partnership
measures but not gay marriage.
"The governor believes that the domestic part-
nership law is the best way to protect people's
basic human rights," Rasmussen said.
New Jersey recognized domestic partnerships
in January, becoming the fifth state to legally cre-
ate a union for same-sex couples.
22 I dallasvoice.com I 03.12.04
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004, newspaper, March 12, 2004; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238885/m1/22/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.