Advocates hope for repeal of Montana anti-gay law
Gay rights advocates said Monday they hope the Legislature will finally repeal an obsolete state law that criminalized gay sex in Montana before it was struck down by the courts in the 1990s. The Montana Supreme Court in 1997 ruled as unconstitutional the portion of the deviate sexual relations law that includes "sexual contact or sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex" in the definition that also includes bestiality. Senate Bill 107, carried by Sen. Tom Facey, would remove it from state code. The Missoula Democrat said the time has come to strike a law that is unenforceable and offensive. "Words do matter. I hope you can pass this bill to get the unconstitutional words out of our code," Facey said. Groups opposed to the law have tried for years to get the Legislature to formally strike language they argue is hurtful. Two years ago, a similar proposal to repeal the law cleared the Senate only to die in the more conservative House.