Gays in Florida are cheering Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, which declared a Texas ban on consensual sodomy unconstitutional. What that ruling means in Florida is not yet clear, but the battle lines are already being drawn.
Shane Grant is a gay man living and working in Tallahassee. He has never feared prosecution for sodomy, but is happy the U.S. Supreme Court has said "no" to police interfering in sexual relations among consenting adults.
"Between consenting adults, I believe sexual practices between consenting adults should not be legislated so I'm very happy to see the outcome," says Shane.
Florida is one of 13 states, which still has a ban on consensual sodomy. It's a misdemeanor covered under "unnatural acts" in section 800-02. Whether Florida's law will now change as a result of the Supreme Court decision is not yet clear.
When Florida Attorney General, Charlie Crist was asked, “Does it set a precedent in Florida?” He answered,” It may. We should review it further to see if it does or doesn't set a precedent here, but we need to review it before making further comment."
Longtime gay rights activist Jeff Peters calls the sodomy ruling, "the homosexual's equivalent of "brown vs. Board of education" in terms of its potential to change life for gays.
He envisions it hastening both gay marriage and gay adoption in Florida. Though Shane Grant doubts those changes will come quickly, if at all.
"They may not have that as evidence to use against gay marriage now, but I'm not sure they need it as evidence. Popular opinion is still very much, unfortunately, not in favor
We had a tough time reaching folks for comment today. The director of the Florida catholic conference is out of town. We did talk with Carole Griffin late Thursday afternoon; she heads up the local chapter of the eagle forum.
She called the Supreme Court ruling an attack on our country's moral values, and a slippery slope toward allowing more deviant sexual behavior.