Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This Idiot Thinks Homosexuality Is Illegal In Montana

State Representative Ken Peterson (R-MT)
There's been some very anti-gay legislation popping up in Montana recently and a lot of it is either propagated or facilitated by Representative Ken Peterson, a conservative Mormon Republican who controversially chairs the Judiciary Committee. The Montana legislature has (unsuccessfully) attempted to ban local municipalities from enacting local LGBT equality ordinances and refused to remove Montana's legally unenforceable sodomy law from the statute books.

As Zack Ford reports at Think Progress' Wonk Room, Rep. Peterson thinks that "homosexuality is still a crime in Montana":
Peterson argues there are still at least two prosecutable offenses: 1) The “recruitment” of non-gays and 2) public displays of same-sex affection:
— Homosexuals can’t go out into the heterosexual community and try to recruit people, or try to enlist them in homosexual acts. ‘Here, young man, your hormones are raging. Let’s go in this bedroom, and we’ll engage in some homosexual acts. You’ll find you like it.’
— In my mind, if they were engaging in acts in public that could be construed as homosexual, it would violate that statute. It has to be more than affection. It has to be overt homosexual acts of some kind or another… If kissing goes to that extent, yes. If it’s more than that, yes.
Zack goes on to detail the multiple ways in which such views, if reflected in actual public policy, would violate the Constitution (First Amendment, multiple Supreme Court decisions such as Lawrence v Texas and Romer v Evans).

Lawrence ruled all sodomy laws unconstitutional so whether or not Montana or Kansas or other states repeal their extant sodomy laws, any prosecutions (or persecutions) based on those statutes would be thrown out by a court instantaneously. Romer said that laws based primarily on animus (against the LGB community) are presumptively unconstitutional, so the idea that "homosexuality" can be criminalized directly violates these legal principles.

It seems to me one should test Rep. Peterson's resolve and have a KISS-IN in Missoula, Montana. Any takers?

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