Alabama gay-sex ban overturned by court

Alabama gay-sex ban: An Alabama court ruled that the state's anti-sodomy law is unconstitutional. Alabama is one of a dozen states with such bans on the books.

By , Associated Press

An appeals court has ruled that an Alabama law criminalizing consensual homosexual conduct is unconstitutional.

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously overturned the state's anti-sodomy law. The judges said it was the first time the law's constitutionality had been addressed since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar Texas law in 2003.

Civil and gay-rights advocates say the ruling is a step in the right direction.

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The state attorney general's office brought the case to the appeals court after a prosecutor failed to get a jury to convict a defendant on the felony charge of first-degree sodomy. The jury had convicted the defendant of the lesser, non-felony charge of sexual misconduct.

The Human Rights Campaign says Alabama is one of a dozen states with anti-sodomy laws on the books.

Meanwhile, two women challenging Alabama's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages are asking a judge to decide the case without holding a trial.

Attorneys for Cari Searcy and Kimberly McKeand of Mobile filed the request in federal court in Mobile. They have one of three suits challenging Alabama's ban. They were married in California in 2008 and want Alabama to recognize the marriage.

Alabama's governor and attorney general are asking the judge to dismiss the suit.

The other two suits challenging the ban are pending in federal courts in Montgomery and Birmingham.

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