The Michigan Senate just passed a bill that makes sodomy a felony, despite the U.S. Supreme Court declaring such a law unconstitutional.
The state’s law, which makes anal sex punishable by up to 15 years in prison, is not specifically targeted at gay people, as it’s illegal regardless of whether a couple is same-sex or different-sex.
Instead, the sodomy ban is directly linked to a law against bestiality, essentially saying the two are equal.
The law states that it is a felony for anyone to commit “the abominable and detestable crime against nature with mankind or with any animal.”
It’s the “with mankind” wording that creates the loophole to keep the sodomy ban intact, even though the 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas declared it unconstitutional.
Now that the bill has passed through the Senate, it is headed to the House for approval, which means there is still time to change the wording and keep “mankind” out of it entirely.
But GOP Senator Rick Jones says an attempt like that could put the entire bill, created to protect animals, in jeopardy.
“The minute I cross that line and I start talking about the other stuff, I won’t even get another hearing. It’ll be done,” said Jones. “Nobody wants to touch it. I would rather not even bring up the topic, because I know what would happen. You’d get both sides screaming and you end up with a big fight that’s not needed because it’s unconstitutional.”
Jones believes that the sodomy ban can only be repealed if a bill is created to strike all unconstitutional laws from the state’s books, but he is not willing to do it at the expense of his dog bill.
“If we could put a bill in that said anything that’s unconstitutional be removed from the legal books of Michigan, that’s probably something I could vote for,” he said. “But am I going to mess up this dog bill that everybody wants? No.”