Beliefnet
NEW ORLEANS, July 7 (AP)--Louisiana's Supreme Court has upheld the state's195-year-old sodomy law, under which consenting adults could receive up tofive years in prison for engaging in oral or anal sex.

"Simply put, commission of what the Legislature determines as an immoralact, even if consensual and private, is an injury against society itself,"Justice Chet Traylor wrote in Thursday's 5-2 decision.

In their dissent, Chief Justice Pascal Calogero Jr. and Justice Harry Lemmonsaid the law represents an intrusion of government into citizens' homes.

"The only apparent purpose of the prohibition is to dictate the type of sexthat is acceptable to legislators,'' Lemmon wrote. "Two married personsshould be able to choose how they conduct their nonpublic, voluntary sexualrelations in the security of their own home; a law that takes that choiceaway from them is an intrusion by the legislative branch that isconstitutionally intolerable.''

The ruling did not affect a pending civil lawsuit, filed by gay-rightsadvocates, challenging the sodomy law on different issues.

A state judge had thrown out the law in March, saying it unconstitutionallycriminalizes private sexual behavior by adults. A month earlier, the state4th Circuit Court of Appeal reversed the conviction of a man who had oralsex with a woman. The appeals court said the law violated privacy rights.

The Supreme Court reinstated the man's conviction for a crime against natureand his suspended three-year jail sentence.

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