Activists cheer as Montana formally decriminalizes gay sex

By REUTERS
April 19, 2013 05:29

HELENA, Mont.- Montana's governor on Thursday signed into law a bill that formally decriminalizes homosexual sex, a move gay rights activists in the state called a watershed moment in their battle for equality.

The measure removed from the books a law classifying gay sex as a felony. It was struck down by the Montana Supreme Court 16 years ago and no longer enforced.

"I am not going to speak too long," Democratic Governor Steve Bullock told the crowd packed into the expansive rotunda of the state capitol for a signing ceremony. "Because frankly, the longer I talk, the longer this unconstitutional and embarrassing law continues to stay on our books."

Lobbyist Linda Gryczan, who filed the original lawsuit which led to the state Supreme Court nullifying the ban in 1997, said having it formally removed from the books meant more now.


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