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NC: outdated sex laws still on the books

RogerNDC pointed to this column Myron Pitts in the Fayetteville Observer on the ridiculous sex laws still on the books in my state. North Carolina’s “crime against nature laws” have not been repealed, even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that these are unconstitutional.

Under North Carolina law, anal and oral sex still are felonies, no matter the gender of the two people involved. The early colonialists borrowed the uptight law from uptight England — where else? — and it has been on our books in some form since 1715, now taking the form of General Statute 14-177. The maximum penalty for a crime against nature is three years in prison.

Pitts noted that Lawrence does not apply to cases involving minors, forced sex, public sex and prostitution — that was a result of a 2005 NC appeals court ruling.

Pitts still found a broad interpretation when he called the police.

I checked with police spokeswoman Jamie Smith about the crime against nature charge and how it is interpreted by police.

She asked around the department, then called me back to say, “Anything except vaginal intercourse.”

Don?t hang your head in shame if you just discovered that you?ve been violating North Carolina law. Heck, we’ve all been there, haven’t we?

BTW, in NC it is still a misdemeanor for unmarried couples to co-habitate or to use a hotel room for “immoral purposes.”

Does your state still have these laws on the books?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding