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ACLU Challenges Maryland Anti-Gay Law

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged a Maryland law that makes oral sex an illegal act between members of the same sex. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of five lesbians and gay men, who claim that their equal protection and privacy rights protected in the Constitution are violated. Couples caught engaging in or offering oral sex to members of the same gender face up to 10 years in prison.

“People use this law to justify bashing and violence against us …. It allows non-gays who don’t like us to demonize us as criminals,” said Catherine Brennan, a Baltimore lawyer and plaintiff in the suit.

Oral sex between consensual, heterosexual couples is legal in Maryland. Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas have similar laws which criminalize oral sex between homosexual couples.

Sources:

Washington Post - February 6, 1998

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