South Africa Court Voids Sodomy Laws

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Gay sex was effectively declared legal Friday when a Johannesburg court overturned the nation's sodomy laws as unconstitutional.

Judge Jonathan Heher of the Johannesburg High Court ruled, "Constitutionally we have reached a stage of maturity in which recognition of the dignity and innate worth of every member of society is not a matter of reluctant concession, but is one of easy acceptance."

South Africa's new constitution outlaws discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, but many anti-homosexual laws passed by the apartheid-era government are still on the books. The National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality has filed suits to overturn them one by one.

They celebrated their victory Friday. "For the first time in our history, the criminal law will no longer be used to police the bedroom," said Zachy Achmat, a coalition spokesman.

The decision is not likely to be appealed.

Contrary to my usual policy, I have decided against including a photo I have to illustrate this article. I do have such a photo. It is right here in this website, but it is obscene and the address is secret. Only one person has ever found it. If you do find it, this photo will not convince you that this practice should be legalized.

Note: In the Commonwealth of Virginia, where neither international law nor the laws of the sister states are recognized, not only is sodomy illegal, but any woman who commits an act of sodomy, which Virginia law defines to include every form of oral sex, will lose custody to the state of any child she has, as Sharon Bottoms found out.

More than that, a child can be kidnapped from his or her parents, in another state or even in a foreign country, and carried to Virginia, and if the kidnapper claim that the natural parents engaged in oral sex with each other, the kidnappers will not be prosecuted, not will the child be returned to the natural parents.

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