Did Michigan really just outlaw sodomy?

Senate Bill 219 causes controversy

LANSING, Mich. – There have been several articles floating around the Internet claiming Michigan has banned sodomy.

Is it true? Here's the story:

There was a movement to change Michigan's law to deny pet adoption to anyone who has a history of animal abuse within the past five years. It's called Logan's Law. The bill causing the controversy is Senate Bill 219, which reads:

“A person who commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature either with mankind or with any animal is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 15 years.”

This is in reference to sodomy, which often includes forms of anal and oral sex -- but this bill did not make it illegal, because the U.S. Supreme Court already voided anti-sodomy laws about 13 years ago.

So, could the legislature have changed the language? Yes. But technically, no laws concerning sodomy have changed in Michigan.

The state Senate passed the bill in a 37-1 vote last week.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) -- here's what he told Towleroad:

"The minute I cross that line and I start talking about the other stuff, I won’t even get another hearing,” Jones said. "It’s because nobody wants to touch it. They say the courts have ruled, so walk away from the issue. I would rather not even bring up the topic because I know what would happen, and you’d have both sides just screaming, and you’d end up with a big fight that’s not needed because it’s not constitutional. In my opinion, the only way you’d ever get rid of that particular law you’re talking about is if you had a mass law that dealt with 100 different laws that are unconstitutional, and that just happens to be one of them, but if you focus on it, people just go ballistic, and I know what happens. If we could put a bill in that said everything that’s unconstitutional will be removed from the legal books of Michigan, that’s probably something I could vote for, but am I going to mess up this dog bill that everyone wants? No."

What do you think about this? Should the senator have changed the language, or is this not a big deal? Let us know what you think on our Facebook page.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.