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ACLU challenges Nevada law criminalizing same-sex intercourse for teens

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada (ACLU-NV) [advocacy website] on Thursday filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] challenging a state law [NRS 201.195 text] criminalizing consensual sex between same-sex teenagers. The state law characterizes same-sex intercourse as a "crime against nature," and violation of the law carries a possible five-year prison sentence. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the District of Nevada [official website] on behalf of an anonymous plaintiff who was arrested last year on juvenile felony allegations under the controversial law. The complaint asks the court to find the law unconstitutional and issue a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the law.

Issues surrounding same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] remain controversial throughout the US. Last month the ACLU filed [JURIST report] a lawsuit in New Mexico seeking same-sex marriage recognition. In March Vermont's House of Representatives approved a bill [JURIST report] that would require out-of-state employers to provide the same health care coverage to same-sex couples as employees with an opposite-sex spouse. Also in March the Colorado House of Representative voted 39-26 in favor of a bill to legalize civil unions [JURIST report] which explicitly provides same-sex couples with benefits already enjoyed by opposite-sex couples, including dependent insurance coverage and the ability to adopt a partner's child. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in nine US states and the District of Columbia.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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