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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: The Truth About Michigan's Law Banning Sodomy

State Capitol - file photo
Melissa Benmark

That post on Facebook about Michigan outlawing sodomy needs some fact-checking. Gongwer News Service Editor Zach Gorchow says that law’s already on the books and isn’t going anywhere soon. 

Gongwer News Service Editor Zach Gorchow recently wrote a blog post about various reports surrounding Senate Bill 219.

The proposed legislation would prohibit someone who has committed certain crimes, including cruelty to animals, from owning an animal for five years. Gorchow says the state statute being amended includes Michigan’s laws banning sodomy and bestiality. He says the bill doesn’t change the ban, which goes back to the 19th Century. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that all laws banning sodomy are unconstitutional.

Politics have kept the Legislature from striking that language from the books, according to Gorchow. He says despite changing attitudes on gay marriage, such a change would still cause political problems for many Republican lawmakers. Gorchow’s blog closes with the words 

“So in the final analysis two things have not changed: Michigan’s anti-sodomy law and the idea of repealing it politically taboo.”

He says it doesn’t appear likely to change anytime soon. Gorchow says the language is largely symbolic at this point because of the U.S. Supreme Court. But he says the ban is still very important to many people.

The interview was recorded Wednesday morning after the New Hampshire primary. Gorchow recently wrote about how different the Presidential race looks now than it did when the Michigan Republican Party held its Policy Conference on Mackinac Island.

At that time, Gorchow says the star of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was at its peak. The Mackinac Island conference came just after a strong debate performance. She picked up the endorsement of Michigan Congresswoman Candice Miller.

Gorchow says many observers at that time believed Fiorina would be a significant factor in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. But Gorchow says it turned out to be “just one moment in time.” On Thursday Fiorina announced that she is suspending her campaign for President.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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