ACLU challenges Nevada law criminalizing same-sex intercourse for teens

[JURIST] 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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