Who has time for water that cannot pass a quality test when you can legislate the love that dare not speak its name?
The Michigan Senate recently passed a bill that outlawed sodomy, traditionally defined in legalese as either oral or anal sex. If the bill passes the Michigan House, sodomy could be punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The ban was attached to an anti-bestiality bill, part of a package of bills called "Logan's Law" the state Senate is looking to pass to protect pets from abusive owners. By adding the words "with mankind" to a clause outlawing bestiality it not only outlawed sodomy and bestiality, but equated the two.
Michigan joins about a dozen other states that have sodomy bans on their books, even though the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional in a 6-3 vote in the 2003 Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas. That case started with the 1998 arrest of two gay men who were having consensual sex in their private apartment; the case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court.
States that have kept these bans on the books send a clear anti-gay message, even if they don't spell it out. Michigan's ban does not refer specifically to same-sex pairings, but four states with sodomy laws specifically ban same-sex pairs from engaging in consensual anal sex: Montana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
There's still time to amend the language, but according to Republican Sen. Rick Jones that would put the entire bill 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," Jones told New Civil Rights Movement. "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 also said he would be in favor of trying to strike down the sodomy ban eventually, but not right now.
"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."