Nevada Sued Over Law That Criminalizes Gay Teen Sex

Business Insider

The ACLU is suing Nevada over its "infamous crime against nature statute," which makes it illegal to have gay sex with any minor under 18.

That law creates a double standard for gay and straight couples, the ACLU says. Nevadans have to be 16 years old to consent to sex. But the "crime against nature law" makes it illegal to have gay sex with anybody who's under 18.

Here's the text of the law, which applies to sex with anybody under 18:

"As used in this section, the 'infamous crime against nature' means anal intercourse, cunnilingus, or fellatio between natural persons of the same sex. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the infamous crime against nature."

The law says anybody who violates it could get life in prison, and it doesn't stipulate that the person who broke the law has to be over 18.

The ACLU represents an unnamed 17-year-old boy who was allegedly prosecuted for having sex with a 16-year-old boy, according to Courthouse News' summary of the complaint.

"If either Doe or the other teenager had been a girl instead of a boy, their sexual relationship would have been completely legal under Nevada law," the complaint states.

The ACLU calls the law both antiquated and totally discriminatory.

“This outdated, discriminatory law should have been removed long ago. This lawsuit seeks to ensure that no Nevadan can be prosecuted under this unconstitutional, discriminatory law again,” ACLU Interim Executive Director Tod Story said in a statement.



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